View full screen - View 1 of Lot 657. Portrait of Frances Alicia Bennet (b. 1749), half-length.
657

George Romney

Portrait of Frances Alicia Bennet (b. 1749), half-length

Estimate:

30,000

to
- 50,000 USD

Property from an American Private Collection

George Romney

George Romney

Portrait of Frances Alicia Bennet (b. 1749), half-length

Portrait of Frances Alicia Bennet (b. 1749), half-length

Estimate:

30,000

to
- 50,000 USD

Lot sold:

94,500

USD

Property from an American Private Collection

George Romney

Dalton 1734 - 1802 Kendal

Portrait of Frances Alicia Bennet (b. 1749), half-length


oil on canvas

canvas: 30 by 25 in.; 76 by 63.5 cm.

framed: 41 by 36 in.; 104.1 by 91.4 cm. 

The canvas is lined and stable on its stretcher. The portrait image reads well beneath older varnish. Frame abrasion is visible along the bottom and right edges, but is not distracting. A small area of varnish has discolored above the woman's hair. Under UV inspection, the varnish is milky and difficult to read through, but a few retouches from an earlier campaign are visible in the center left background and on the woman's belt, and a more recent campaign in her hair is visible and starting to discolor. The painting would likely benefit from a cleaning and fresh varnish. Offered in a decoratively carved giltwood 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.

The sitter, and by descent to Mrs. Benson, Lesketh How, Ambleside;
Anonymous sale, London, Christie's, 14 June 1902, lot 102 (bt. Alexander for £945);
Mr. and Mrs. Hiram Sibley, Rochester, NY;
Thence by descent to the present owner.
G. Paston, George Romney, London 1903, p. 184;
H. Ward and W. Roberts, Romney: A Biographical and Critical Essay with a Catalogue Raisonné of his Works, London/New York 1904, volume II, p. 10 (as "Lady Frances Alicia Benson");
A. Kidson, George Romney: A complete catalogue of his paintings, New Haven/London 2015, vol. I, p. 64, no. 79, reproduced in color.

The elegant young woman seen here in three-quarter profile with her hair upswept is Lady Frances Alicia Bennet, the second daughter of Charles, 3rd Earl of Tankerville, and Alicia Astley. Her aristocratic status is evident from her fine yellow silk dress and red ermine-trimmed cloak. Lady Bennet was later married three times, to William Aslong in 1776 (d. 1780), with whom she had two children, to Rev. R. Sandys in 1781, with whom she had one child, and to Rev. E. Benson in 1783. Although this portrait has traditionally been called "Lady Frances Alicia Benson," which was the sitter's married name with her third husband, based on the age of the sitter and style of the portrait, it was certainly painted well before her first marriage. Kidson dates the picture to the late 1760s on the basis of style and believes it is one of the first, if not the very first, commissions Romney received from the aristocracy.1 The success of this portrait may have resulted in Romney winning the commission to paint Lady Bennet's aunt, Lady Vincent, and her husband, in the early 1770s.


1. See Kidson 2015, vol. I, p. 64.