187
187

THE PROPERTY OF A LADY

Thomas Patch
MEDITERRANEAN HARBOUR SCENE
Estimate
12,00018,000
LOT SOLD. 52,500 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
187

THE PROPERTY OF A LADY

Thomas Patch
MEDITERRANEAN HARBOUR SCENE
Estimate
12,00018,000
LOT SOLD. 52,500 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Thomas Patch
EXETER 1725 - 1782 FLORENCE
MEDITERRANEAN HARBOUR SCENE
signed lower right: TPatch. f
oil on canvas


89.5 x 127.7 cm.; 35 1/4  x 50 1/4  in.
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Provenance

Commissioned by John Apthorp (1730–1772) of Massachusetts, in Florence in January 1764;
With Trafalgar Galleries, London;
Anonymous sale ('Property of an American Corporation'), New York, Sotheby's, 23 January 2003, lot 48.

Literature

F. J. B. Watson, 'Thomas Patch (1725–1782), notes on his life, together with a catalogue of his known works', Walpole Society, vol. XXVIII, Oxford 1940, pp. 23, 34, 41, no. 36;
L. Salerno, I Pittori di Vedute in Italia (1580–1830), Rome 1991, p. 177, fig. 50.1.

Catalogue Note

This picture was commissioned with three other harbour scenes on 1 January 1764, as noted in Apthorp's diary: 'January 1st 1764 agreed with Mr. Patch for four landscapes the size of Sir Horace's in the great room, for 50 sequins to be done in three months'. Apthorp had been married to Sir Horace Mann's niece Alicia, however she had died of an illness in Gibraltar when they were en route to Italy. He arrived in Florence in January of 1764, and was hosted by Mann. 

John Apthorp was one of only a small number of American Grand Tourists known to have travelled through Europe in the eighteenth century. He was a passionate collector of art and in addition to the works by Patch, commissioned a portrait from Angelica Kauffman while on his tour.1 Apthorp was introduced to Thomas Patch through Sir Horace Mann; Mann and Patch were such famously good friends that they were reputedly never out of each other’s houses 'a whole day'.2 They are in fact depicted together in Johan Zoffany's The Tribuna of the Uffizi, discussing the merits of the Venus of Urbino.3 

Patch had gained a reputation at this time for being a very capable caricaturist and depicted a great number of the numerous English tourists that passed through Florence at this time. Apthorp features in one entitled The Golden Asses,4 held at the Lewis Walpole Library, and is the sixth figure from the left. The painting takes its name from a golden donkey upon which Patch sits. This is turn is inspired by a poem by Machiavelli warning against getting too close to this 'rough and obstinate herd'.

1. Sold New York, Sotheby's, 30 January 2014, lot 299.
2. See F. J. B. Watson, 'Thomas Patch (1725–1782), notes on his life, together with a catalogue of his known works', Walpole Society, vol. XXVIII, Oxford 1940, p. 19
3. Royal Collection, inv. no. 406983. See, Grand Tour, The Lure of Italy in the Eighteenth Century, A. Wilton and I. Bignamini (ed.), London 1996, p. 27, fig. 4, reproduced.
4. See, Wilton and Bignamini 1996, p. 85, cat. no. 41, reproduced.

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