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    Sale 7435

    British Works on Paper

    21 November 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 11

    John Downman, A.R.A. (1750-1824)

    Portrait of a woman, bust-length, traditionally identified as the artist's wife, Elizabeth

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    John Downman, A.R.A. (1750-1824)
    Portrait of a woman, bust-length, traditionally identified as the artist's wife, Elizabeth
    signed and inscribed 'Eliza/Eliza...D' (lower right) and further inscribed 'Portrait of Elizabeth Day by John Downman ARA' (on the reverse, according to a label attached to the backboard)
    pencil and pink chalk
    5½ x 4 in. (13.4 x 10.2 cm.); and William Hoare of Bath, R.A. (1707-1792), Portrait of a lady with a plumed headdress, 6¾ x 4½ in. (17.2 x 11.4 cm.) (2)


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    Details about Downman's life are scarce, however it seems probable that the artist married twice. The identity and fate of his first wife remain obscure, but it is possible that she married Downman before they left for Italy in 1773 and had died by 1804. G.C. Williamson, John Downman, A.R.A., London, 1907, pp. xxii suggests that his second wife was the daughter of William Jackson, organist of Exeter Cathedral. A sketch in the British Museum, see Williamson op.cit. p. 60 inscribed 'Mother Eliz. Downman' possibly in the hand of Isabella the artist's daughter, bears a striking resemblance to the sitter in the present watercolour.

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    Provenance

    (1) with Agnew's, London.
    (2) with Spink, London.