Portrait of Elizabeth Uvedale

THOMAS GAINSBOROUGH R.A. (1727-1788)

Dimensions

Height - 30.00inch (76.20cm)
Width - 25.00inch (63.50cm)
Framed Height - 37.00inch (93.98cm)
Framed Width - 32.25inch (81.91cm)

Description

Portrait of Elizabeth Uvedale
THOMAS GAINSBOROUGH

Period

1750

Literature

PORTRAIT OF ELIZABETH UVEDALE, HALF-LENGTH, IN A PINK DRESS WITH GREEN BOWS AND LACE SLEEVES AND SHAWL

THOMAS GAINSBOROUGH, R.A. (1727 – 1788)

Late 1750s
Oil on canvas, feigned oval 30 x 25 inches (76.2 x 63.5 cm)
Framed 37 x 32 ¼ inches (94 x 82 cm)

Provenance:
George Harland Peck, 9, Belgrave Square, London, until his death on 21st January 1920;
His Executrix, Agnes Harland Peck, Christie’s, London, 25th June 1920, lot 62 (unsold);
D. R. Russell;
His Executors’sale, Christie’s, London, 22nd June 1979, lot 128, illustrated (sold £13,000);
With Thomas Agnew & Sons, 43, Old Bond Street, London, 1980;
John and Sylvia Tapp;
Their Executors’ sale, Christie’s, London, British Pictures 1500-1850, 8th June 2006, lot 56, illustrated (sold £42,000);
Private Collection, United Kingdom.

Exhibited:
London, Thomas Agnew & Sons, The Portrait Surveyed / British Portraiture
1670-1870, 3rd June to 1st August 1980, no. 7, illustrated.

Literature:
Thomas Agnew & Sons, Exhibition Catalogue, 1980, page 7;
Susan Sloman Gainsborough in Bath (New Haven and London, Yale University Press, 2002, page 227, under note 79

The sitter was the wife of Captain Samuel Uvedale, of Bosmere House, Suffolk, the son of the Reverend Samuel Uvedale (1699-1775), Rector of Barking, Suffolk, and his wife, Sophia Spragge. Her husband, grandson of the celebrated botanist, Robert Uvedale (1642-1722), builder of Bosmere, pursued a successful naval career.
He rose in the naval hierarchy being promoted to Lieutenant (1747), Commander (1758), and then Captain (1760); commanding the frigate Boreas when she served in the Leeward Islands for two years. In 1779, he was Captain of the Ajax and sailed with Rodney’s fleet to relieve Gibraltar, engaging the Spanish at the battle of St. Vincent on 16th January 1780, and later, in the West Indies, taking part in the action against de Guichen on 15th April 1780. Invalided home with despatches subsequently, he was later promoted to Rear Admiral in 1789 on the retired list on half pay.

The present portrait was most probably conceived as a pendant to Gainsborough’s portrait of the sitter’s husband, in which he is shown wearing the undress uniform of a Captain (sold, Christie’s, London, 15th April 1988, lot 123, for £24,000).

In a letter dated 15th December 1966, the late Professor Sir Ellis Waterhouse placed both portraits at the end of the 1750s, when Gainsborough had returned from London to his native Suffolk, establishing a portrait practice in Ipswich.

The sitter’s father-in-law, the Reverend Samuel Uvedale, was also painted by Gainsborough, when the artist was living in Bath (Yale, Paul Mellon Collection; E. K. Waterhouse Gainsborough (London, Edward Hulton Limited, 1958, page 94, no.689).
   
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