60
60
Arthur Devis
PORTRAIT OF THE REVEREND THOMAS D'OYLY WITH HIS WIFE, HENRIETTA MARIA, FULL-LENGTH IN AN INTERIOR
Estimate
100,000150,000
LOT SOLD. 60,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
60
Arthur Devis
PORTRAIT OF THE REVEREND THOMAS D'OYLY WITH HIS WIFE, HENRIETTA MARIA, FULL-LENGTH IN AN INTERIOR
Estimate
100,000150,000
LOT SOLD. 60,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

The Collection of A. Alfred Taubman: Old Masters

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New York

Arthur Devis
PRESTON 1712 - 1787 BRIGHTON
PORTRAIT OF THE REVEREND THOMAS D'OYLY WITH HIS WIFE, HENRIETTA MARIA, FULL-LENGTH IN AN INTERIOR

Provenance

By descent in the family of the sitter to R.H.C. Thomas
Sale: Christie's, London, May 26, 1933, lot 66 (sold by the above)
R.C. Bruce (acquired at the above sale)
Hon. Mrs. Bruce
Sale: Sotheby's, London, July 7, 1954, lot 53 (sold by the above to Mitchell for £480)
Sale: Sotheby's, London, July 12, 1989, lot 43
Acquired at the above sale by A. Alfred Taubman

Exhibited

Detroit Institute of Arts, 1989-1991 (on loan, no. T1989.380)

Literature

Sydney H. Pavière, The Devis Family of Painters, Leigh-on-Sea, 1950, p. 35
Ellen D’Oench, Arthur Devis: Master of the Georgian Conversation Piece, unpublished Ph.D thesis, Yale University, 1979, vol. II, p. 319, no. 54
Ellen D’Oench, The Conversation Piece: Arthur Devis and His Contemporaries, New Haven, 1980, p. 83, no. 54

Catalogue Note

Arthur Devis was one of the leading proponents of the English conversation piece, a genre of portraiture that became fashionable beginning in the 1720s.  In contrast to the more conventional and formal tradition of British portraiture, the conversation piece was characterized by a more relaxed and intimate presentation, with sitters depicted in pairs or groups interacting with one another in everyday settings.  The figures were depicted in full-length, their scale reduced within the pictorial space, sometimes in landscapes and often, as in this portrait, in the interior of their home.

Here we see the Rev. Thomas D’Oyly (1709-1770) and his wife Henrietta Maria, daughter of Robert Godfrey, in their sitting room, seemingly caught off guard as he hands a letter to his wife.  In the 1933 auction (see Provenance), the painting was titled Rev. Thomas D'Oyly and His Daughter however, Ellen D'Oench dates this portrait to the artist's early period, circa 1743-44, and thus it more likely represents D'Oyly and his wife soon after their marriage in 1743.  Shortly thereafter, D’Oyly became vicar of Kelshall, Hertfordshire and, in 1749, of Radmill, Sussex.  He later became Archdeacon of Lewes, Chancellor of Chichester in 1751 and Prebendary of Ely in 1752.  Devis was likely introduced to the family by Mrs. D’Oyly’s sister, Amy, whom the artist had painted in circa 1741 with her husband, Charles Wager Purvis.

The Collection of A. Alfred Taubman: Old Masters

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New York