View full screen - View 1 of Lot 350. Charles Thorp (1772-1820)[?] as Lord Mayor of Dublin.
350

William Cuming

Charles Thorp (1772-1820)[?] as Lord Mayor of Dublin

Estimate:

20,000 - 30,000 USD

Sold by the Art Institute of Chicago

William Cuming

William Cuming

Charles Thorp (1772-1820)[?] as Lord Mayor of Dublin

Charles Thorp (1772-1820)[?] as Lord Mayor of Dublin

Estimate:

20,000 - 30,000 USD

Lot sold:

30,240

USD

Authenticity guarantee

What is guaranteed?

Sold by the Art Institute of Chicago

William Cuming

Dublin 1769 - 1852

Charles Thorp (1772-1820)[?] as Lord Mayor of Dublin


oil on canvas

canvas: 90 by 55¾ in.; 228.7 by 141.6 cm.

framed: 97½ by 63¼ in.; 247.6 by 160.6 cm.

To request a condition report for this lot, please contact Alison.MacQueen@sothebys.com.

Archibald Ramsden (1835-1916), London and Leeds;

Anonymous sale, London, Christie's, 2 February 1917, lot 189 (as John Singleton Copley, Portrait of Brass Crosby, Lord Mayor of London, 180 gns);

There acquired by Frank T. Sabin, London;

With Ehrich Galleries, New York;

From whom acquired by the Art Institute of Chicago, 1922.2196 (as Copley, Portrait of Brass Crosby).

"Copley's Portrait of Lord Mayor of London is acquired by the Chicago Art Institute," in American Art News, 6 May 1922, p. 1, reproduced (as Copley, Portrait of Brass Crosby);
American Magazine of Art 13 (1922), p. 489, reproduced (as Copley, Portrait of Brass Crosby);
M.B.W., "Portrait of Brass Crosby, Lord Mayor of London, by Copley," Art Institute of Chicago Bulletin 16 (October 1922), pp. 66-67, reproduced on cover (as Copley, Portrait of Crosby);
Art Institute of Chicago, Catalogue of Sculpture, Architecture, and Paintings, Chicago 1923, p. 61, no. 564, (as Copley, Portrait of Crosby);
Art Institute of Chicago, A Guide to the paintings in the permanent collection, Chicago 1925, pp. 81 and 131, cat no. 564, reproduced (as Copley, Portrait of Crosby);
S. LaFollette, Art in America, New York and London 1929, reproduced opp. p. 54 (as Copley, Portrait of Crosby);
T. Bolton and H.L. Binsse, "John Singleton Copley, Probably the Greatest American Portrait Painter, Here for the First Time as an Art in Relation to his Contemporaries," in Antiquarian 15 (December 1930), p. 116 (as Copley, Portrait of Crosby);
Art Institute of Chicago, A Guide to the paintings in the permanent collection, Chicago 1932, p. 101, reproduced p. 147 (as Copley, Portrait of Crosby);
"American Art Notes: American Art in Retrospect," in Connoisseur 90 (October 1932), pp. 282-83, reproduced (as Copley, Portrait of Crosby);
H.B. Wehle, An Exhibition of Paintings by John Singleton Copley, exhibition catalogue, New York 1936, p. 9 (as Copley);
Art Institute of Chicago, Paintings in the Art Institute of Chicago, a catalogue of the collection, Chicago 1961, pp. 83-84 (as Copley);
E. Kilmurray, A Dictionary of British Portraiture, ed. R. Ormond and M. Rogers, vol. 2, London 1979, p. 55 (as Copley);
M. Warner, French and British Paintings from 1600 to 1800 in the Art Institute of Chicago, catalogue of the collection, Chicago 1996 and reprinted 2006, pp. 201-203, reproduced p. 203 (as Cuming, A Lord Mayor of Dublin);
R. O'Byrne, The Last Knight: a Tribute to Desmond FitzGerald, 29th Knight of Glin, New York 2013 (as Cuming, A Lord Mayor of Dublin);
W. Iaffan and C. Monkhouse, Ireland: Crossroads of Art and Design, 1690-1840, Chicago 2015, pp. 214-16, 220, 227, cat. no. 28, reproduced p. 215, fig. 3 (as Cuming).
Art Institute of Chicago, A Survey of American Painting from the Permanent Collection of the Art Institute, 1932, unnumbered (as John Singleton Copley);
Art Institute of Chicago, A Century of Progress, 1 June - 1 November 1933, no. 411 (as  Copley);
Art Institute of Chicago, A Century of Progress, 1 June - 1 November 1934, no. 368 (as  Copley);
 Art Institute of Chicago, Ireland: Crossroads of Art and Design, 1690-1840, 17 March - 7 June 2015, no. 28 (as Cuming, Portrait of Charles Thorp[?], Lord Mayor of Dublin).

This stately portrait appeared on the art market in 1917 as the work of American painter John Singleton Copley and as a portrait of Brass Crosby, Lord Mayor of London, who was famous for being imprisoned in the Tower of London for defending the rights of the press. In 1979 the Copley expert, Jules Prown, rejected the attribution to Copley, and shortly thereafter the regalia of the sitter was identified as that of a Lord Mayor of Dublin rather than London. This led to a short-lived attribution to Irish painter Robert-Lucius West, until Irish paintings expert Desmond FitzGerald recognized it as the work of William Cuming in 1988, based on similarities with Cuming's posthumous portrait of James Caulfield, First Earl of Charlemont.1


Cuming trained in the Dublin Society's schools and established himself as a portraitist. He was a founding member and later president of the Royal Hibernian Academy. He painted two Lord Mayors of Dublin: Henry Gore Sankey in 1792 and Charles Thorp in 1801. One of the two portraits was destroyed in a fire in 1908; the only other portrait of a Lord Mayor by Cuming that survives, today in Mansion House, Dublin, is called Charles Thorp, which makes identification of the present sitter difficult. The facial features of both sitters are similar enough that the present lot could be another portrait of Thorp. Cuming is also recorded as painting a posthumous portrait of Thorp in 1831.2 The statue of Justice to the right of the Lord Mayor may refer to the sitter's legal profession, but it also recalls the figure of Justice that appears in the arms of the City of Dublin.


1. National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, inv. 187. M. Warner 1996/2006, p. 201.

2. M. Warner 1996/2006, p. 202.