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Margaret Sarah Carpenter (Salisbury 1793-1872 London)
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Margaret Sarah Carpenter (Salisbury 1793-1872 London)

Portrait of a young girl, thought to be Henrietta Carpenter, bust length, in oriental dress

Details
Margaret Sarah Carpenter (Salisbury 1793-1872 London)
Portrait of a young girl, thought to be Henrietta Carpenter, bust length, in oriental dress
signed and dated '...Carpenter 1839' (lower left)
oil on panel
27½ x 18 1/8 in. (69.8 x 46 cm.)
Special Notice

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Lot Essay

Margaret Sarah Geddes was born in 1793 into an artistic and literary family in Salisbury. Her talent for drawing was noticed at an early stage by Jacob Pleydell-Bouverie, 2nd Earl of Radnor, on whose estate the Geddes family lived. By the age of 12, she was copying the paintings at Longford Castle and when her father went bankrupt in 1812, Lord Radnor paid for her to move to London where she could establish herself as a professional artist. In 1817 she married William Hookham Carpenter, a bookseller, publisher and artist who was later appointed Keeper of Prints and Drawings at the British Museum. After Sir Thomas Lawrence's death in 1830, Carpenter was seen by many as his successor. Whilst she carried out a vast number of commissions, including a series of Eton school leavers, it was for her fanciful portraits of women and children that she was most celebrated.

The sitter in the present work would appear to be the same girl as that in the double portrait, entitled The Sisters, now in the Victoria and Albert Museum (R. Parkinson, Catalogue of the British Oil Paintings 1820-1860, London, 1990, pp.22-3). The V&A picture, also dated 1839, shows the artist's daughters Henrietta and Jane reading in an interior.

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