View full screen - View 1 of Lot 228. Portrait of a lady, three-quarter length, seated at a harpsichord, holding a sheet of music.
228

Allan Ramsay

Portrait of a lady, three-quarter length, seated at a harpsichord, holding a sheet of music

Property from a Private Collection, California

Allan Ramsay

Allan Ramsay

Portrait of a lady, three-quarter length, seated at a harpsichord, holding a sheet of music

Portrait of a lady, three-quarter length, seated at a harpsichord, holding a sheet of music

Authenticity guarantee

What is guaranteed?

Property from a Private Collection, California

Allan Ramsay

Edinburgh 1713 - 1784 Dover

Portrait of a lady, three-quarter length, seated at a harpsichord, holding a sheet of music


oil on canvas

canvas: 47 by 35½ in.; 119 by 90.2 cm.

framed: 55¾ by 46¼ in.; 141.6 by 117.5 cm. 

The canvas is lined. The painting has been recently sensitively restored, is in good condition, and is ready to hang in its present condition. The surface is clean, colors are vibrant, and the overall image reads well beneath a clear and crisp varnish, beneath which there is a good retention of original detail. There is a faint pattern of craquelure throughout, consistent with age, although this is not at all distracting. Some of the details in the shadows have lost some definition with age, such as in the central section of the sitter's costume. Inspection under UV reveals a clear varnish. The sitter's face, neck, chest, and hands all are largely untouched apart from a thin line of retouching in her forehead. Some strokes of retouching are scattered in her costume, the largest concentration in an area of craquelure to the lower right of her blue bow at her chest. Two larger spots of retouched restorations fluoresce in the red curtain, one about 2.5 by 2.5 inches and one about 1 by 1 inch, and one small retouched tear near the center of the lower edge. Scattered small, fine strokes of retouching to some of the canvas weave, primarily in her costume, and some small cosmetic and isolated spots only here and there in the background. Offered in a modern 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 ("The Property of a Gentleman"), London, Christie's, 28 June 1963, lot 61 (as Thomas Hudson);
Anonymous sale (Property from a Private Canadian Collection), New York, Sotheby's, 1 February 2018, lot 600;
There acquired. 

Allan Ramsay was among the most fashionable and sought-after portraitists in London in the 18th century. He quickly established his reputation in this city as a sophisticated and elegant portraitist who was able to expertly capture the likeness of his sitters, drawing on his early studies in Italy with some of the most fashionable Italian portrait painters of the era, Francesco Imperiali and Pompeo Batoni. The present portrait appears to be an early example by the artist, possibly done at the end of the 1730s. The beautiful sitter, who is placed next to a harpsichord, holds a music notation that reads 'Francesco Maria Vericini', an Italian composer who wrote operas in London at the time this painting was made.


We remain grateful to Dr. Brian Allen for endorsing the attribution to Allan Ramsay on the basis of photographs when this painting last appeared at auction.