View full screen - View 1 of Lot 229. Portrait of a lady, said to be Frances Bristow, three-quarter length, in a white dress with a spaniel.
229

Michael Dahl

Portrait of a lady, said to be Frances Bristow, three-quarter length, in a white dress with a spaniel

Property from a Private Collection, California

Michael Dahl

Michael Dahl

Portrait of a lady, said to be Frances Bristow, three-quarter length, in a white dress with a spaniel

Portrait of a lady, said to be Frances Bristow, three-quarter length, in a white dress with a spaniel

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Property from a Private Collection, California

Michael Dahl

1659 - 1743

Portrait of a lady, said to be Frances Bristow, three-quarter length, in a white dress with a spaniel


bears a later added and misspelled signature lower right: Dalh

inscribed on reverse: Frances Bristow 5th Daughter of Rob/ Bristow & Katharine Woolley. Married / John Ward Esqre of Squirnes in Kent / 1719 died 1727 aetat 31

oil on canvas

canvas: 49½ by 40¼ in.; 125.7 by 102.2 cm.

framed: 57 by 48 in.; 144.8 by 121.9 cm. 

The canvas is thinly lined and taut on its stretcher. The image reads strongly beneath a crisp varnish, and there are no instabilities to the painted surface. Some areas of thinness are visible particularly in the shadows and the darker tones of the background, as consistent with age and the relining process, although there are areas where the artist's thick and loose brushwork is still-well-preserved, such as in the white highlights of the sitter's costume. Inspection under UV reveals a somewhat milky varnish. There are a few small spots of retouched restorations scattered here and there in the background, for example to the right of the dog's head in the lower right, with two spots in the sitter's costume near the center of the lower edge. Some thin and very fine strokes of cosmetic retouching attending to the weave of the canvas are visible in isolated spots in the figure, with some in her face, upper chest, and costume. Some additional fine, thin strokes here and there in the background, including an area in the shadows of the landscape at center left. Some additional very few small spots of retouching only here and there, such as in the ear of the dog. The painting is ready to hang in its present condition. Offered in a 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.

Anonymous sale, London, Bonhams, 6 December 2017, lot 54:
There acquired. 

The Swedish-born artist Michael Dahl worked primarily in London as a portrait painter from the end of the 17th century and into the first half of the 18th century. A rival of Godfrey Kneller, Dahl favored a soft and sensitive approach to capturing the features of his sitters, and sometimes paid lavish attention to the fabrics of their costumes with particular brilliance. A prolific artist of great versatility, Dahl established a strong network of royal and fashionable clientele, counting among his patrons Queen Anne, Prince George of Denmark, the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough, and Charles Seymour (Duke of Somerset), among many others, the latter of whom commissioned from the artist his famous set of seven beauties today at Petworth House. 


According to an inscription on the reverse of this canvas, this portrait may depict Frances Bristow of Micheldever, fifth daughter of Robert Bristow and Katharine Woolley. In 1719, she married Colonel John Warde, though she died 8 years later in 1727 at age 31. In 1731, her husband purchased Squerryes Court in Kent where several portraits of his late wife adorned the walls, including one full-length portrait by Dahl that hung over the mantelpiece in the library.1 Other known portraits of Frances Bristow, or Lady Warde, include an equestrian portrait of her by John Wootton(2) and a full-length portrait of her by William Aikman(3), both still today at Squerryes Court.

  

1.  Surrey Archaeological Collections Relating to the History and Antiquities of the County, vol. IX, London 1888, pp. 408-409.


2. Oil on canvas, 49.5 by 53 inches. https://photoarchive.paul-mellon-centre.ac.uk/objects/410467/equestrian-portrait-of-mrs-warde-frances-bristow-mrs-lady

3. Oil on canvas, 88 by 56.75 inches. https://photoarchive.paul-mellon-centre.ac.uk/objects/472744/portrait-of-frances-bristow-mrs-lady--warde--16971727