Lot Details & Additional Photographs
Oil on canvas (lined), unsigned, retains two exhibition labels to verso, presented in a later frame.
Stretcher size 25 x 29 1/4 in.; Frame dimensionsPrivate Collection, Greensboro, North Carolina
Lt. Colonel & Mrs. W. H. Bromley-Davenport, M.P., Capesthorne Hall, Macclesfield, Cheshire
Christie's, London, British Pictures 1500 - 1850
, June 16, 2005, Lot 210
London, Royal Academy, Winter Exhibition: British Portraits
, 1956-1957, No. 87
Manchester, Manchester City Art Gallery, Exhibition of Works of Art from Private Collections in the North West and North Wales
, September 21 - October 30, 1960, No. 116
John Rupert Martin, "The Milton Portrait: Some Addenda," The Princeton University Library Chronicle
, Vol. 24, No. 3 (Spring 1963), p. 170, fig. 3
C. Gibson-Wood, Jonathan Richardson, Art Theorist of the English Enlightenment
, New Haven and London, 2000, p. 116, fig. 55
Jonathan Richardson was a noted portraitist and the first English painter to write a significant treatise on art. He considered his writing and painting to be of equal importance and merit. His son, Jonathan Richardson the Younger, shared many of his father's interests. Together, they wrote a book on art in Italy that would serve as a the guide for many embarking on the Grand Tour.
In 1734, Jonathan Richardson and his son published Explanatory Notes and Remarks on Milton's Paradise Lost
. In the engraved frontispiece to this book, Richardson created a portrait of Milton with a laurel crown. This same image is found in the present portrait, with the addition of divine rays illuminating the poet. Portraits by Richardson of Milton are in the collections of the Royal Collection Trust and the Princeton University Art Museum.
Richardson was known to complete a self portrait or a portrait of his son on an almost daily basis. He viewed his painting practice, and the creation of poetry, as a means of self reflection. A portrait of the artist's son held in the collection of Tate London, acquired in 2010, is an interesting comparison to the present work. In the portrait, Richardson depicts his son in his study, surrounded by a bust of Homer, a classical nude sculpture, books and writing implements, while portraits of the artist and his wife hang on wall.
Self portraits of the artist are held in numerous prominent collections including the National Portrait Gallery, London; Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton, New Jersey; Harvard Art Museum / Fogg Museum, Cambridge, Massachusetts; and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.
$30,000 - 50,000