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    Sale 11933

    Old Masters: Part I

    14 April 2016, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 154

    Sir Thomas Lawrence, P.R.A. (Bristol 1769-1830 London)

    Portrait of Mrs. John Allnutt, née Eleanor Brandram, half-length

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    Sir Thomas Lawrence, P.R.A. (Bristol 1769-1830 London)
    Portrait of Mrs. John Allnutt, née Eleanor Brandram, half-length
    oil on canvas
    30 x 24¾ in. (76.2 x 62.9 cm.)


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    Eleanor Brandram (1789-1866) was the daughter of Samuel Brandram of Lee, Kent. A woman of exceptional beauty, in 1815 she became the second wife of John Allnutt (1773-1863) of Clapham common. The present portrait, which Kenneth Garlick dates to c. 1815, was likely commissioned around the time of their wedding (loc. cit., 1989). Eleanor has the vivacious countenance of a young woman in her mid-twenties. She gazes out at the viewer with confident, piercing blue eyes and a spray of flowers in her hair. Sir Thomas Lawrence lavished special attention of the depiction of Mrs. Allnutt’s crimson velvet dress, which appears all the more vivid set against the cool blues of the background. The artist would have been inclined to produce his best work, as her husband was a discerning art collector and patron of Lawrence as well as many of his contemporaries, including Constable and Turner. Years earlier, in 1797-1798 Lawrence captured Mr. Allnutt’s likeness in a full-length portrait with a horse in a landscape, which was sold at Christie’s, London, on 16 April 1982, lot 91 (fig. 1). A wine merchant by profession, John Allnutt lent large sums of money to Lawrence, secured on a policy of insurance: as much as £5,000 was, it is said, repaid at Lawrence's death.

    Provenance

    Mrs Knox, granddaughter of the sitter, from whom acquired by the following.
    with Agnews, London.
    Sir James Linton; Robinson and Fisher, London, 12 December 1907, lot 175 (2,900 gns. to the following).
    with Colnaghi's, London.
    Judge Elbert J. Gary; (†), American Art Association, New York, 28 April 1928, lot 28 ($15,000 to the following).
    with Duveen, New York.
    with Scott & Fowles, New York, 1931.
    Mrs Thomas Chadburn, New York, 1961.
    Anonymous sale; Christie’s, London, 11 July 1986, lot 81, where acquired by the present owner.


    Saleroom Notice

    Please note that this picture was not exhibited in London at the Royal Academy in 1792, as stated in the printed catalogue.


    Pre-Lot Text

    PROPERTY FROM A FLORIDA ESTATE


    Literature

    R.S. Gower, Sir Thomas Lawrence, London, Paris and New York, 1900, p. 104.
    'Mrs. Allnutt by Sir Thomas Lawrence', The Burlington Magazine, XII, October 1907-March 1908, p. 255, pl. II.
    W. Armstrong, Lawrence, London, 1913, p. 108.
    A. Graves, A Century of Loan Exhibitions: 1813-1912, London, 1913, I, p. 651.
    K. Garlick, Sir Thomas Lawrence, London, 1954, p. 24.
    K. Garlick, Sir Thomas Lawrence, Oxford, 1989, p. 135, no. 20.


    Exhibited

    London, British Institution, 1843, no. 180.