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Portrait of Captain Collingwood Roddam (1734-1806), half-length, in a red coat

Portrait of Captain Collingwood Roddam (1734-1806), half-length, in a red coat
oil on canvas
30 1⁄4 x 25 in. (76.5 x 63.3 cm.)
The sitter, and by descent to
Sir Herbert Hadfield, from whom acquired by the following
with Ehrich Galleries, New York, by 1931.
with Cooling Galleries, Ltd., London and Toronto, by 1941.
Private collection, Canada.
with Newhouse Galleries, New York.
The Collection of Khalil Rizk, New York.
Art News, XCIX, 1931, cover illustration.
W. Heil, 'Portraits by Francis Cotes', Art in America, XX, 1931, p. 6.
H. E. Keyes, 'The Rising Star of Francis Cotes', Antiques, XIX, 1931, p. 217, fig. 1.
H. Granville Fell, 'Some Topics of the Moment', The Connoisseur, CVII, 1941, p. 219, cover illustration.
E. Mead Johnson, Francis Cotes: Complete Edition with a Critcal Essay and a Catalogue, Oxford, 1976, pp. 75-76, no. 164.
New York, American Art Association-Anderson Galleries, Old and Modern Masters in the New York Art Market from the Collections of Leading New York Dealers, 15 March - 4 April 1931, no. 39, loaned by Ehrich Galleries.

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Lot Essay

This portrait of Captain Collingwood Roddam caused a stir when it reappeared on the art market in 1931, featuring on the cover of Art News and in articles published in Art in America and Antiques in that same year. Francis Cotes depicts the young Captain Collingwood Roddam, brother of the decorated British Admiral Robert Roddam, in his East India Company uniform. The portrait is dated circa 1760 (Keyes, op. cit.), around the time the young officer set sail on the East Indiaman Countess of Harcourt to Bombay. The ship traded at Indian ports under Roddam’s command until its Company charter expired, and it returned to the service of the Royal Navy transporting prisoners to Australia.
Cotes trained first as a painter of pastels under George Knapton before setting up his own studio in his father’s apothecary. His work with pastels informed his later use of oils. Cotes employed strong whites in the highlights and blues in the shadows, imbuing his sitters with a distinctive appearance, as seen in the present portrait (Keyes, op. cit., p. 219). This portrait was completed at the height of Cotes’ popularity. It was around this time that he became a founding member of the Royal Academy. Unfortunately, his career came to an early end when he died at the age of 44 due to the adverse effects of an experimental medical treatment.

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