JOSEPH WRIGHT OF DERBY, A.R.A. | PORTRAIT OF REVEREND CHRISTOPHER ALDERSON, BUST-LENGTH, LOOKING OVER HIS SHOULDER, IN A PAINTED OVAL
Estimate: 15,000 - 20,000 USD
Property from a Distinguished American Collection
JOSEPH WRIGHT OF DERBY, A.R.A.
PORTRAIT OF REVEREND CHRISTOPHER ALDERSON, BUST-LENGTH, LOOKING OVER HIS SHOULDER, IN A PAINTED OVAL
inscribed, signed, and dated on the reverse: Revd [d in superscript] Chris.r (r in superscript) Alderson, B.D. / Æt. fuce 56. / Jos. Wright pinx / 1794.
oil on canvas, in a painted oval
30 by 25 in.; 76.2 by 63.5 cm.
The canvas has an old relining and is stable on its stretcher. A portrait image reads well despite being pressed in some areas. No losses are visible to the naked eye other than a very slight frame abrasion at the upper left edge. Under UV inspection, the varnish fluoresces unevenly and covers an older campaign of retouching to address craquelure, especially in lines throughout the man’s coat. An old repair is also visible in the background at upper right. Offered in a simply carved giltwood frame.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.
By descent in the sitter's family to the Wilson family, Waldershaigh, Bolsterstone, West Riding;
By whom sold (Property of a Family Trust), London, Sotheby's, 18 November 1978, lot 55;
B. Nicolson, Joseph Wright of Derby: Painter of Light, vol. I, London/New York 1968, p. 174 (where Wright's account book is quoted: "A 3 qrs. (rs in superscript) of Mr. (r in superscript) Alderson, £12.12....Do. a copy of Do., £12.12.");
B. Nicolson, "Wright of Derby: Addenda and Corrigenda," in The Burlington Magazine vol. 130, no. 1027 (Oct. 1988): p. 751, reproduced p. 752, fig. 37.
Rev. Christopher Alderson was the son of Jonathan and Elizabeth Alderson; he entered the church in 1761 and served the diocese of Chester. He married the daughter of the steward to the Duke of Leeds, Elizabeth Ball, and was made Rector of Eckington in 1784 and of Aston in 1786. Joseph Wright painted him in 1794, when Alderson was 56, and the artist recorded this in an beautifully intact inscription on the reverse of the canvas. A nearly identical second version of this portrait sold London, Sotheby's, 3 May 2017, lot 162.