Property of the Trustees of The Finnis Scott Foundation
WILLIAM POWELL FRITH, R.A.
The Lover's Seat
signed and dated l.l.: W P Frith. 1877
oil on canvas, in its original frame by Mr Pond which was awarded a prize when displayed at the Alexandra Park International Exhibition in 1885
64 by 50.5cm.; 25¼ by 20in.
Original canvas in good stable condition. There is scattered craquelure throughout although the paint surface is stable. There is a faint stretcher mark running across the upper border. Otherwise in good original condition.
UV light reveals no visible retouching under a fairly opaque varnish.
Held in an ornate plaster gilt frame in good condition. A backboard has been attached to the reverse to protect the canvas.
"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."
J. Leger & Sons, London, where bought by Sir David Scott in 1947 for £47.5.0.
Art Journal, 1855, p.172;
Graham Reynolds, Painters of the Victorian Scene, London, 1953, p.59, illustrated as plate 21;
Graham Reynolds, Victorian Painting, London, 1966, illustrated p.48, pl.23;
Jeremy Maas, Victorian Painters, London, 1969, illustrated p.114;
Sotheby's, Pictures from the Collection of Sir David and Lady Scott, 2008, p.162, illustrated p.163
Harrogate Corporation Art Gallery, William Powell Frith, R.A., 1951, no.46;
London, Whitechapel Art Gallery, Frith, 1951, no.42;
Edinburgh, National Gallery of Scotland, Sunshine and Shadow - The David Scott Collection of Victorian Paintings, 1991, no.29
This painting shows the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary Godwin, writer of Frankenstein, at the time of their love affair in 1814. Frith, who announced himself 'a worshipper of Shelley, and [one who had] read everything respecting him that came in my way', described how in preparation for the present painting he visited the house of Shelley's son at Boscombe in Dorset, where he studied portraits of the poet and of Mary, and upon which he based their likenesses.