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Rhoda Delaval, Lady Astley (1725 - 1757)

Arthur Pond (London 1701 – Rome 1758)

Category

Art / Oil paintings

Date

circa 1750

Materials

Oil on canvas

Measurements

762 x 635 mm (30 x 25 in)

Place of origin

England

Order this image

Collection

Seaton Delaval Hall, Northumberland

On show at

Seaton Delaval Hall, Northumberland, North, National Trust

NT 1276704

Caption

Rhoda Delaval was the eldest daughter of Captain Francis Blake Delaval (1692 - 1752) and Rhoda Apreece (d.1759), daughter of Robert Apreece and Sarah Hussey. Her marriage in 1751 to Edward Astley, later 4th Bt. (1729 – 1802) of Melton Constable, ultimately brought Seaton Delaval into the Astley family. Rhoda died in childbirth, having borne him three sons and a daughter. She was a talented artist, taught by Arthur Pond, who had been brought to Seaton Delaval by her father. A portrait, also by Pond, at the National Portrait Gallery, shows her sketching in pastels. She left various letters dating to the years after her marriage, which provide insight into eighteenth century society life in Northumberland, describing relationships, medical conditions, and the lottery.

Summary

Oil painting on panel, Rhoda Delaval, Lady Astley (1725 - 1757) by Arthur Pond (London 1701 – Rome 1758), 1750; formerly inscribed with the identity of the sitter (in flowing white script, painted out), at top. Half-length portrait, wearing a laced dress with flowers in her bodice, a straw hat, and holding an open book.

Full description

Eldest daughter of Captain Francis Blake Delaval (1692 - 1752) and Rhoda Apreece (d.1759), daughter of Robert Apreece and Sarah Hussey. Her marriage in 1751 to Edward Astley, later 4th Bt. (1729 – 1802) of Melton Constable, ultimately brought Seaton Delaval into the Astley family. Rhoda died in childbirth, having borne him three sons and a daughter. On her death, her husband went to live with his children at Melton Constable. Their son, Jacob (1756 – 1817) inherited the Delaval estates in 1814. She was a talented artist, taught by Pond, who had been brought to Seaton Delaval by her father. Pond’s journal records lessons in painting given to ‘Miss Delaval’ [i.e. the eldest daughter, Rhoda] a month at a time, intermittently between February 1744 and June 1750, at 4 guineas (£4.4s.) a month. He also obtained a ‘Layman’ for her from a joiner, Morris, in June 1750, for £3.8s. (Lippincott, art.cit., passim). This would appear to have been the picture for which Pond charged 12 guineas (£12.12s.) in June 1750 (cf. Louise Lippincott, ‘Arthur Pond’s Journal of Receipts and Expenses, 1734-1750’, The Fifty-fourth Volume of the Walpole Society: 1988, [1991], p.314. Rhoda left various letters dating to the years after her marriage, which provide insight into C18th society life in Northumberland (see M.Green, The Delavals. A Family History, Newcastle, p.44 ff.). (Amanda Bradley)

Provenance

Accepted in lieu of tax by H.M. Treasury and transferred to the National Trust in 2009

Credit line

Seaton Delaval, The Hastings Collection (National Trust)

Marks and inscriptions

Top: formerly inscribed with the identity of the sitter (in flowing white script, painted out): Rhoda Delaval wife of / [crossed out: William ...] Edward Astley Frame tablet: RHODA, daughter of F.B. Delaval / and first wife of / Sir Edward Astley 4th Bart. / A.POND.

Makers and roles

Arthur Pond (London 1701 – Rome 1758), artist

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