Allan Ramsay (Edinburgh 1713-1784 Dover)
PROPERTY FROM AN ESTATE
Allan Ramsay (Edinburgh 1713-1784 Dover)

Portrait of Valentine Morris (1727-1789), Governor of Saint Vincent, half-length

Details
Allan Ramsay (Edinburgh 1713-1784 Dover)
Portrait of Valentine Morris (1727-1789), Governor of Saint Vincent, half-length
oil on canvas, cut to an oval and laid down on canvas
30 1/8 x 25 1/8 in. (76.5 x 63.8 cm.)
Provenance
Captain Alfred Charles Seton Christopher (1856-1934), Chelsea (according to a label on the reverse).

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Lot Essay

Valentine Morris was the son of Colonel Valentine Morris (d. 1742) and Elizabeth Wilmott Oct (d. 1761). On his father’s death, he inherited Piercefield House near Chepstow and, with the help of Richard Owen Cambridge, transformed the parkland into a fashionable English landscape garden in the style of Capability Brown. Due to expenses accrued during a contested county election in 1771, Morris was forced to sell his estate and decamp to the West Indies. There, according to William Coxe, he "distinguished himself with so much zeal and activity in promoting the cultivation of the island, where he almost raised another Piercefield," that he was soon nominated Governor of Saint Vincent (W. Coxe, A Historical Tour Through Monmouthshire, Brecon, 1904, p. 313). However, while he sought to defend the island against French attacks, in 1779, he was forced to negotiate its surrender.

A portrait by Ramsay of the sitter’s mother, signed and dated 1750, was formerly with Philip Mould, London (A. Smart, ed. J. Ingamells, Allan Ramsay: A Complete Catalogue of his Paintings, London, 1999, pp. 161-62, 310, no. 380, fig. 361).

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