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Stephen Poyntz Denning (1795-1864)
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Stephen Poyntz Denning (1795-1864)

Portrait of a lady, wearing a black dress

Details
Stephen Poyntz Denning (1795-1864)
Portrait of a lady, wearing a black dress
signed, inscribed and dated 'S.P. Denning pinxit 1837' (lower left)
oil on panel
24½ x 20 in. (62.2 x 51 cm.)
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No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.

Lot Essay

Although this painting has previously been considered an anonymous portrait, the physiognomy of the sitter bears a marked resemblance to Queen Victoria's mother, Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, the Duchess of Kent (see, for example, Winterhalter's portrait of 1849, in O. Millar, The Victorian Pictures in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen, Cambridge, 1992, no. 836, plate 735). The Duchess's second husband died in 1820, and thereafter she is often portrayed in black. Furthermore, in 1823 Denning was employed by the Royal Family to paint a portrait of Queen Victoria at the age of four. The painting is now at the Dulwich Picture Gallery, where Denning was one-time Curator. It seems feasible that it inspired later commissions. Denning also executed a watercolour copy of Winterhalter's portrait of the Royal Family in 1846 (see Millar, Victorian Pictures, no. 823, pp. 293-4), demonstrating the longevity of the good relationship he enjoyed with his distinguished patrons.

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