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Philip Reinagle, R.A. (1749-1833)
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Philip Reinagle, R.A. (1749-1833)

Birds of prey, goats and a wolf, in a landscape

Details
Philip Reinagle, R.A. (1749-1833)
Birds of prey, goats and a wolf, in a landscape
oil on canvas
60 x 72 in. (152.4 x 182.9 cm.)
Provenance
Commissioned by George Walpole, 3rd Earl of Orford, and by decent at Houghton Hall, Norfolk.
Special notice

No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium, which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.

Lot Essay

This picture is from a celebrated series of works commissioned for Houghton Hall, Norfolk, by George Walpole, 3rd Earl of Orford (1730-1791), nephew of Horace Walpole, the collector and connoisseur. The commission, together with the purchase of works by Giovanni Battista Cipriani (1727-1785), was prompted by the sale en bloc, in 1778, of the larger part of the magnificent collection of pictures put together by the 3rd Earl's grandfather, Sir Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford, to Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia.

Three exceptional pictures from this series - each measuring approximately 84 x 120 in., and arguably the artist's masterpieces - have been sold at Christie's: 'A secretary bird, a nicobar pigeon, a toucan, a crested oropendola, a common pheasant, a cock of the rock, a green tauraco, and a common roller in a tropical forest' (20 April 1990, lot 57, £99,000), 'A penguin, a pair of flamingoes and other exotic birds, shells and coral on the shoreline' and 'Exotic birds and insects among trees and foliage in a mountainous river landscape' (12 June 2002, lots 32 and 33, £336,650 and £529,150 respectively).

Philip Reinagle, originally of Hungarian decent, was born in 1749 in Scotland where his family, believed to be supporters of James Stuart, the Young Pretender, had settled five years earlier. In 1769 he entered the Royal Academy Schools in London and by the 1770s was a pupil of Allan Ramsay, for whom he copied Old Masters and portraits of King George III and Queen Charlotte. He first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1773 and during his lifetime was to show more than two hundred and fifty paintings of birds, animals, hunting scenes and portraits.
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