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The Masters Pattisson: William Henry Ebenezer Pattisson (1801-1832) and Jacob Howell Pattisson (1803-1874)

Sir Thomas Lawrence, PRA (Bristol 1769 – London 1830)

Category

Art / Oil paintings

Date

1811 - 1817 (exh at RA)

Materials

Oil on canvas

Measurements

1270 x 1016 mm (50 x 40 in)

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Collection

Polesden Lacey, Surrey (Accredited Museum)

On show at

Polesden Lacey, Surrey, London and South East, National Trust

NT 1246452

Caption

The two boys depicted in this portrait are the sons of W.H. Pattisson of Witham in Essex, William Henry Ebenezer (1801-32) and Jacob Howell (1803-74). Lawrence began to paint the brothers in 1811 although it was not completed until 1817 when it was exhibited at the Royal Academy and admired for the ‘sportive play’ of its brushwork. The wild setting refers to the boys’ feeling for nature, as does the integration of the donkey into the group, which the artist asked their mother to send to his London studio especially. On the picture’s completion, the treatment of the faces was felt to ‘bespeak gentle dispositions and minds of a high order’.

Summary

Oil painting on canvas, The Masters Pattisson by Sir Thomas Lawrence, PRA (Bristol 1769 – London 1830), 1811-1817. Two three-quarter-length portraits of two brothers: William Henry Ebenezer Pattisson (1801-1832) and his brother Jacob Howell Pattisson (1803-1874). William, the elder, stands beside a donkey, his right hand on its back, the reins held in his left; he wears a red coat and looks to the left above the head of his younger brother, Jacob, who wears a green shirt and kneels on a grass mound, his arms around the neck of the donkey. Landscape setting, trees and bushes on the left and distant horizon with cloudy sky on the right.

Provenance

By descent in the Pattisson family until 1859 or 1860; purchased from W. Cooper by Grundy at Christie's, 26 March 1860, lot 154; John H. Naylor (1813-1889) Leighton Hall, Montgomeryshire by 1913; purchased from Dyer and Sons by Agnew and Sons, 19 July 1917; purchased from Agnew and Sons by Margaret Greville for £12, 000, 13 March 1918. Bequeathed in 1942 by Margaret Helen Greville DBE (1863-1942) to the National Trust, along with the Polesden Lacey Estate in memory of her father William McEwan MP (1827-1913). [The probate inventory of January 1943 shows this item found on the record for Polesden Lacey pictures, drawings etc., the Gun Room Lavatory, page 133.]

Credit line

Polesden Lacey, The McEwan Collection (National Trust)

Makers and roles

Sir Thomas Lawrence, PRA (Bristol 1769 – London 1830), artist

References

The Exhibition of the Royal Academy (exh cat) Royal Academy, London, 1817, no.44 Williams 1831 D. E. Williams, The Life and Correspondence of Sir Thomas Lawrence, Kt, 2 vols., London, 1831, vol.I, p.361; vol.II, p.247 Gower 1900 Lord Ronald Sutherland Gower, Sir Thomas Lawrence, London 1900, p.154 Hardie 1904 Martin Hardie, 'Sittings at Sir Thomas Lawrence's: the Curious History of a Picture', Magazine for Art, April 1904, p. 265 Armstrong 1913 Sir Walter Armstrong, Lawrence, London, 1913, p.157 Exhibition of British Art, c.1000-1860 (exh cat) Royal Academy, London, 6 January-17 March 1934, p.244; no.649 Loan Exhibition of Paintings by Sir Thomas Lawrence P.R.A. (exh cat) Agnew's, London, 17 May - 23 June 1951, no.18 The First Hundred Years of the Royal Academy, 1769 - 1868 (exh cat) Royal Academy, London, 8 December 1951 - 9 March 1952, no.15 Portrait Groups from National Trust Houses (exh cat) Arts Council of Great Britain (touring exh), National Museum of Wales, Cardiff, Wakefield, Luton, Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne, Coventry, 1960-1, p.17; no.15 Polesden Lacey, Surrey [The National Trust; St. John Gore] 1964, pp.15-16; no.11 English Pictures 1730-1830 from National Trust Houses (exh cat) Agnew's, London, November 9 - December 11 London 1965, no.29 Art Historians and Critics as Collectors (exh cat) Agnew's, London, 6 - 19 May 1965, no.29 (Treasures from Country Houses of the National Trust and the National Trust for Scotland) Trésors des Châteaux Britanniques (exh cat) Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels, 28 September -18 November 1973, p.72; no.34 Sir Thomas Lawrence 1769 - 1830 (exh cat) (ed. Michael Levey) National Portrait Gallery, London, 9 November 1979 - 16 March 1980, p.65; no.31 Garlick 1989 Kenneth Garlick, Sir Thomas Lawrence. A complete catalogue of the oil paintings, Oxford, 1989, p.250; no.634 Chu 2017 John Chu, The Pictures at Polesden Lacey, National Trust, 2017, p.6

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