Lot 239
Sir Joshua Reynolds, P.R.A. (1723-1792), Portrait of Mr. and Mrs. Sylvanus Groves
Lot Details & Additional Photographs
Oil on canvas (lined), unsigned, circa 1753, retaining exhibition labels and identification notes to the verso of each, period frames with gallery plaques.

Stretcher size 25 5/8 x 30 1/4 in.; Frame dimensions 37 1/2 x 33 in.

Private Collection, Greensboro, North Carolina

Traditionally believed to have been commissioned as gifts for Samuel Galloway, Tulip Hill, Maryland, and thence by descent to his great-granddaughter
Mrs. Ann Sarah Hughes, sold by her in 1882 to
Mrs. Henry Adams and by descent to her niece
Miss Mary Markoe by 1896
Mr. & Mrs. Lewis R. Andrews, Tulip Hill, Maryland, 1966
Christie's, New York, Important Old Master Paintings, January 29, 1999, Lot 109

E. Waterhouse, "Reynold's Sitters Book for 1755," in The Walpole Society, 1966-1968, XLI, p. 151
J. R. Kelly, "Tulip Hill, Its History and Its People," in The Maryland Historical Magazine, December 1965
W. Thorn, The Letters of Mrs. Henry Adams 1865-1883, 1936, pp. 349-51
T. J. Hall, The Hall Family of West River, 1941, p. 321
J. R. Kelly, "Portraits by Sir Joshua Reynolds Return to Tulip Hill," in The Maryland Historical Magazine, March 1967, pp. 64-67, illustrated
D. Mannings, Sir Joshua Reynolds, a Complete Catalogue of His Paintings, 2000, nos. 784 and 785, fig. 129 and 130

Philadelphia, Centennial International Exhibition, 1876, lent by Mrs. A. S. Hughes
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, April 3, 1877

Sir Joshua Reynolds was the preeminent English portrait painter of the 18th century. He was inspired to become a painter after reading Jonathan Richardson's Essay on the Theory of Painting and soon after entered an apprenticeship with Thomas Hudson, a celebrated portraitist.

Following a two year tour in Italy where he studied the Old Masters, Reynolds returned to London. He set up a studio and soon was painting portraits of the most fashionable and aristocratic sitters.

In 1768, Reynolds was elected the first president of the Royal Academy of the Arts. The following year he presented his first in a series of fifteen lectures at the academy on his theories in art. Reynold's Discourses on Art elevated the “Grand Manner” style of painting and influenced generations of artists.

Sylvanus Groves was the London-based factor for Samuel Galloway, a wealthy planter in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Groves and his wife sat for Reynolds in London a total of seven times from July 1755 through January 1756. According to family history, this pair of portraits was to be traded for a pair of portraits of Samuel Galloway and his wife, painted by John Wollaston around 1753. While this pair of portraits crossed the Atlantic, the Galloway portraits remained in Maryland and of unknown whereabouts.

Both with old varnish; minor overpaint to the male sitter's flesh tones and jacket; some retouch to female sitter's flesh tones and background; some loss to pigments from cleaning.

$30,000 - 40,000