View full screen - View 1 of Lot 204. Portrait of Mrs Townley and her son.
204

John Downman, A.R.A.

Portrait of Mrs Townley and her son

Estimate:

4,000

to
- 6,000 GBP

John Downman, A.R.A.

John Downman, A.R.A.

Portrait of Mrs Townley and her son

Portrait of Mrs Townley and her son

Estimate:

4,000

to
- 6,000 GBP

Lot sold:

1,890

GBP

John Downman, A.R.A.

Ruabon, N. Wales 1750 - 1824 Wrexham

Portrait of Mrs Townley and her son


Black chalk and stump with watercolour;

signed with the artist's initals and dated on the original mount lower left: JD 1812, inscribed lower right: Mrs Townley and Son London

304 by 237 mm.

The work is in very fine conditon. It is also well presented in a gilt-wood frame.


The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.


With M. Knoedler & Co., New York;
Mrs William M. Greve, U.S.A.;
sale executor's sale, London, Christie's, 8 June 1976, lot 86;
Mr and Mrs W. A. Rappolt;
their executor's sale, London, Sotheby's, 26 November, 1998, lot 7;
with Judy and Brian Harden Portrait Miniatures
G.C. Williamson; John Downman, his life and works, 1907, sketch for the finished portrait (collection of Mrs Maitland), p. 44
London, Philip Mould and Company, Downman In Vogue, 2020

Born in Ruabon, North Wales, John Downman was the son of Francis Downman, an attorney and Charlotte Goodend, the daugther of the private secretary to George I. He moved to London at the age of seventeen, becoming a pupil of the American painter Benjamin West and subsequently one of the first thirty-six students to enrol at the Royal Academy School in 1769. He first exhibited at the R.A. in 1770 before a tour of Italy with Joseph Wright of Derby from 1773-1775.


On his return, he worked for periods in Cambridge and Exeter before returning to London in 1779. He quickly acquired a reputation as one of the most fashionable portraitists of the period and his sitters included members of the Royal Family, the Duchesses of Devonshire and Richard and actresses such as Mrs Siddons and Miss Farren. His portraits were 'universally admired & sought after by the first people of rank and taste'1 He continued to work successfully and exhibit in London until 1819 when he retired to Chester and then Wrexham.


The present portrait dates to 1812 and although the identity of the sitters 'Mrs Townley and son' is unconfirmed, there is a possibility that they may be linked to the celibrated antiquarian Charles Townley (1737-1805), whose collection of antiquites, known as the 'Townley Marbles', were - from 1778 - housed at Park Street, London. 


1. The Morning Post, 4 May 1784