Lot 244
  • 244

GEORGE ROMNEY | Portrait of Ann, wife of William Baldwin, M.P., of Malton, seated, half-length, wearing a pink dress

60,000 - 80,000 USD
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  • George Romney
  • Portrait of Ann, wife of William Baldwin, M.P., of Malton, seated, half-length, wearing a pink dress
  • oil on canvas
  • 30 1/4  by 25 1/4  in.; 76.8 by 64.1 cm.


London, Christie's, by 1885;
From whom purchased privately by Thomas Agnew & Sons, London, August 1885;
From whom acquired by David Jardine, High Lee, Woolton;
His sale, London, Christie's, 16 March 1917, lot 127, £3,255 to Asher Wertheimer;
His sale, London, Christie's, 18 June 1920, lot 52, £1,995 to Gooden & Fox on behalf of William Hesketh Lever, Lord Leverhulme;
Thence by descent to 3rd Viscount Leverhulme, Thornton Manor, Wirral, Merseyside;
His sale, Sotheby's, at Thornton Manor, 26-28 June 2001, lot 374;
Where acquired.


H. Ward & W. Roberts, Romney: A Biographical and Critical Essay with a Catalogue Raisonné of his Works, London 1904, vol. II, p. 6;
A. Kidson, "Lever and the Collecting of eighteenth-century British paintings," Journal of the History of Collections, vol. 4, no. 2, 1992, pp. 204-5;
A. Kidson, George Romney: A Complete Catalogue of His Paintings, vol. 1, New Haven/London 2015, p. 48, no. 46, reproduced.


The following condition report has been provided by Simon Parkes of Simon Parkes Art Conservation, Inc. 502 East 74th St. New York, NY 212-734-3920, simonparkes@msn.com, an independent restorer who is not an employee of Sotheby's. This work has been restored and could be hung in its current condition. The lining is old but still effective. Retouches are visible under ultraviolet light, and they may have been applied on two separate occasions. There are a few dark passages in the background to the right of the head that may correspond to older discolored retouches. There may also be some earlier retouches in the lower left corner. More recently, retouches have been added to cracks in the face and neck, as well as in an area immediately to the right of the face, where cracking developed due to a pentiment. There are a few other small retouches in the sleeves. There is no abrasion or discoloration. The retouches are accurate, and the picture looks very well as a result.
"This lot is offered for sale subject to Sotheby's Conditions of Business, which are available on request and printed in Sotheby's sale catalogues. The independent reports contained in this document are provided for prospective bidders' information only and without warranty by Sotheby's or the Seller."

Catalogue Note

Ann Baldwin was the wife of William Baldwin (1737 - 1813) of Hanwell, Middlesex, a lawyer and Member of Parliament with whom she had two daughters and two sons. When Romney painted the Baldwins in 1778, William was beginning what would become a distinguished legal and political career: he was both Colonial Counsel and Treasury Counsel before becoming Bencher of Middle Temple in 1797 and Treasurer of the same in 1810. He also served as Member of Parliament for Malton in Yorkshire from 1795 to 1798 and for Westbury in Wiltshire from 1802 to 1806. He was a founding member of the Whig Club in 1784 and led efforts to raise loans for the Prince of Wales and the Royal Dukes in 1790. Ann sat for her portrait five times between 4 and 21 December 1778, after her husband sat for his pendant portrait nine times between June and November of the same year.1 The high number of sittings suggests that Romney and William Baldwin had a social connection; indeed, no payments are recorded for either portrait. In any case we can assume that the Baldwins were sufficiently pleased with William's portrait to commission one of Ann. A much later appointment of 14 March 1791 may have been an opportunity for Romney to touch up or repair the portraits.

1. The location of Romney's portrait of William Baldwin is untraced after 1962. See Kidson 2015 (in Literature), p. 48, no. 45.