11 April 2002
Philippe Mercier (Berlin c. 1689-1760 London)
A school for girls
oil on canvas
36¼ x 43 1/8 in. (92 x 109.5 cm.)
Admiral Sir Adam Drummond, K.C.B., 7th of Megginch, and by descent to
The Hon. Mrs. Agnew-Somerville; Sotheby's, London, 5 July 1984, lot 268 (to Dreesmann).
Dr Anton C.R. Dreesmann (inventory no. A-53).
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J. Ingamells and R. Raines, 'A Catalogue of the Paintings, Drawings and Etchings of Philip Mercier', The Walpole Society, XLVI, 1978, p. 61, no. 262, pl. 5a.
The pendant, also engraved by Faber in 1739, the School for Boys, sold in these Rooms, 11 July 1997, lot 9, is dated 1734. That picture measured 40 x 50 inches and Ingamells and Raines consider that the present canvas was probably also of the standard format. The two pictures were significant examples of the type of genre compositions with figures on a large scale with which Mercier experimented in his English years. Related works include the somewhat later Bible lesson at Flintham. The enduring popularity of pictures of the type is attested to by Opie's early masterpiece The Village School (private collection).
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