Property from a Canadian Private Collection
JOHN OPIE, R.A.
Cornwall 1761 - 1807 London
Joseph sold by his brothers to the Ishmaelites
oil on canvas, unlined
83.5 x 71 cm.; 32¾ x 28 in.
The canvas is lined, the paint surface is slightly dirty, and the varnish is discoloured and uneven. There are a handful of tiny spots of paint loss in the red cloak of the figure on the left, in the lower right quadrant, and along the right margin. There is a diagonal surface scratch in the trees upper right, approx. 9cm. long. Inspection under ultraviolet light reveals a thick, milky varnish underneath which it is difficult to discern any restoration bar for some lines of scattered strengthening, which are found mainly in the red-cloaked figure on the left. The painting appears in overall good condition. Offered in a carved and gilt wood frame with a few losses.
"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. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
George Rush, Esq. (d. 1851), Farthinghoe, Northamptonshire, before 1807;
By whom gifted to Mr. and Mrs. Edward Clarke;
Thence by inheritance to Mrs. Forbes, Brighton;
Anonymous sale, London, Christie's, 28 January 1911, lot 102, for £1;
Mrs. P. Churchill, Burnicombe House, Scarborough;
By whom sold, London, Sotheby's, 18 June 1931, lot 65, for £6 to Hoffman.
R. Steele, 'The Tatler', vol. 4, in British Classics, J. Sharpe (ed.), London 1804, pp. 203–07, reproduced no. 233;
A. Earland, Opie and his Circle, London 1911, pp. 330–31.
When Mrs. Edward Clarke sat for John Opie in 1807, he informed her that he had painted the present work twenty-one years prior, in 1785.(1)
1 See Earland 1911, p. 331.