Arthur Devis (Preston, Lancashire 1712-1787 Brighton)
On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial int… Read more
Arthur Devis (Preston, Lancashire 1712-1787 Brighton)

Portrait of Ellin Devis (1746-1820), bust-length

Arthur Devis (Preston, Lancashire 1712-1787 Brighton)
Portrait of Ellin Devis (1746-1820), bust-length
oil on panel
5 ½ x 5 in. (13.9 x 12.6 cm.)
The Devis family, and by descent to
Caroline Tupper, 12 Auckland Road, Upper Norwood, London; Christie's, London, 22 May 1936, lot 55, as part of a set of four, where acquired by the following
with Brook Street Art Gallery, London, inv. no. A1926, where acquired on 25 August 1937 by the following
with Knoedler, London, by whom gifted via Carmen Messmore in December 1937 to
Abby Aldrich Rockefeller and John D. Rockefeller, Jr., and by inheritance in 1960 to
Peggy and David Rockefeller, Hudson Pines, Westchester, New York.
S. H. Pavière, 'Arthur and Anthony Devis', Antique Collector, V, April 1934, pp. 41-44, no. 34.
S. H. Pavière, 'Biographical Notes on the Devis Family of Painters', Walpole Society, XXV, 1936-37, p. 125, no. 27.
S. H. Pavière, The Devis Family of Painters, Leigh-on-Sea, 1950, p. 41, no. 34.
E.G. D'Oench, Arthur Devis (1712-1787), Master of Georgian Conversation Piece, PhD dissertation, 1979, p. 316, no. 52, fig. 106.
E.G. D'Oench, The Conversation Piece: Arthur Devis & His Contemporaries, New Haven, 1980, p. 58, no. 28 (illustrated in black-and-white).
M. Potter et al, The David and Peggy Rockefeller Collection: European Works of Art, New York, 1984, vol. I, p. 90, no. 8 (illustrated in black-and-white).
Preston, Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Twelfth Annual Spring Exhibition of Work by Lancashire Artists Including a Special Loan Exhibition of Work by Members of the Devis Family of Painters, 11 March-10 April 1937, no. 37.
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Lot Essay

Ellin Devis (1746-1820) was the artist's eldest daughter. The painting, which appears to be Devis's only surviving portrait depicting any of his twenty-two children, is executed on a rectangular panel but was probably intended to be seen in oval, as the sitter's hand below the varnished area has been left unfinished. A portrait of similar size in oval format on canvas portraying Devis's younger half-brother, the landscapist Anthony Devis (1729-1816), which was part of the lot in the 1936 sale, was sold at Sotheby's, London, 12 June 2003, lot 82.

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