ARTHUR DEVIS (PRESTON 1712-1787 BRIGHTON)
ARTHUR DEVIS (PRESTON 1712-1787 BRIGHTON)
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Specified lots (sold and unsold) marked with a fil… Read more
ARTHUR DEVIS (PRESTON 1712-1787 BRIGHTON)

Conversation piece with figures gathered around a harpsichord

Details
ARTHUR DEVIS (PRESTON 1712-1787 BRIGHTON)
Conversation piece with figures gathered around a harpsichord
oil on canvas
50 ½ x 40 ½ in. (128.2 x 102.9 cm.)
in a Kentian frame
Provenance
Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, London, 6 July 1983, lot 227.
with Colnaghi, London.
Anonymous sale [Property from a Distinguished Private Collection]; Christie's, London, 8 June 2006, lot 5.
with Mallett, London, April 2007, where acquired by the present owner.
Special notice
Specified lots (sold and unsold) marked with a filled square not collected from Christie’s, 8 King Street, London SW1Y 6QT by 5.00pm on the day of the sale will, at our option, be removed to Crozier Park Royal (details below). Christie’s will inform you if the lot has been sent offsite. If the lot is transferred to Crozier Park Royal, it will be available for collection on the third business day after the sale. Please call Christie’s Client Service 24 hours in advance to book a collection time at Crozier Park Royal. All collections from Crozier Park Royal will be by pre-booked appointment only. Tel: +44 (0)20 7839 9060 Email: cscollectionsuk@christies.com. If the lot remains at Christie’s, 8 King Street, it will be available for collection on any working day (not weekends) from 9.00am to 5.00pm

Brought to you by

Benedict Winter
Benedict Winter Associate Director, Specialist

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Lot Essay


The interior in which the sitters are placed in the present work is very similar to those seen in the artist's portraits of Mr and Mrs Bull (1747) and Mr and Mrs Dashwood (1750) - the fireplace with its overmantel landscape and the view through to a window on the left-hand side recur in each. Devis regularly used the same interior designs for portraits of different sitters, and it is therefore difficult to base any definite identification of the sitters on them in the present picture.

Devis excelled as a portraitist, making a name for himself with his intricate conversation pieces. He rarely depicted recognisable interiors, but instead constucted detailed settings that helped to display his patrons' gentility, symbols of politesse that showed the sitters possessed all the necessary material as well as social graces.

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