Sir Edwin Henry Landseer, R.A.
- Sir Edwin Henry Landseer, R.A.
Portrait of William Arden, 2nd Baron Alvanley (1789-1849) and Mrs Norton (1808-1877)
pen and brown ink on laid paper
Thence by descent to her grandson David Ramsay, by whom sold Christie's, 11 July 1962, lot 23;
Bought from Christie's by Dr Theodore Besterman who broke up the sketchbook and sold this drawing to Thomas Agnew & Son, where bought by Sir David Scott in 1973
These two redoubtable characters give the lie to the thought that a new all-pervasive morality immediately gripped England during the early years of the reign of Queen Victoria. Here both sitters are caught standing in a doorway listening perhaps to an amateur recital. We meet Lord Alveney and Mrs Norton as if figures from one of Trollope's novels. The first, a famous libertine and man of the turf whose giddy life dissipated his father's carefully acquired fortune; the second, the mistress of Lord Melbourne and authoress. Both managed to maintain their position in society but some sense of the strain of this is caught by Landseer's quickly flowing pen.
We are grateful to Richard Ormond for his help in cataloguing this lot.