Sophia Anne Delaval, Mrs John Jadis (1755 - 1793), holding a 'Claude glass' or 'landscape mirror' to the Landscape
attributed to Edward Alcock (fl.1757 – 1778)
Art / Oil paintings
1775 - 1778
Oil on canvas
914 x 559 mm (36 x 22 in)Order this image
Seaton Delaval Hall, Northumberland
The frame tablet on this portrait identifies the sitter as Anne Delaval (1737 – 1812), but comparison with a similar picture in a private collection has shown that she is, in fact, from the next generation of Delavals. Sophia was the second daughter of John, Lord Delaval. She returned from her travels in Europe ‘married’ to a Henry Devereux of Bordeaux and pregnant. She later returned to France for a year, but this time came back with another husband, a John Jadis, who did not fit in with the Delavals, at one point quarelling with his brother-in-law, Lord Tyrconnel, and challenging him to a duel. The artist was probably the Alcock living and working in Bath in 1757. In 1759/60 he was living at Birmingham, and by 1778 he was in London 1778. His signed and dated portraits range from 1762 to 1774, including neat, small full-lengths in the style of Devis.
Oil painting on canvas, Sophia Anne Delaval, Mrs John Jadis (1755 - 1793, holding a 'Claude glass' to the landscape, attributed to Edward Alcock (fl.1757 - 1778). A full-length portrait, standing, wearing a puce and grey silk dress and blue wrap, holding a 'claude glass' [in fact, it looks more like a 'landscape mirror' which was clear and convex for holding over the shoulder to see the landscape in reflection whereas a 'claude glass' was tinted yellow and used by enthusiasts of the picturesque movement to cast a golden glow over the landscapes they were viewing through] to the landscape in her left hand; a plinth to the left, drapery upper left and landscape beyond.
The second daughter of John, Lord Delaval. At the age of 21 she travelled in Europe, where she met her first husband, Henry Devereux of Bordeaux. In 1778 she returned, pregnant, but without her ‘husband’, and later gave birth to a boy, Henry (in the church register Sophia is given the surname ‘Delaval’ – later crossed out, with ‘Devereux written above). She later returned to France for a year, but this time came back with another husband, a John Jadis (an ensign in the 59th Regiment of Foot), whom she had purportedly married in the Catholic Cathedral in Brussels. On the insistence of her father, they were married again, on 6th February 1780, at St. Mary’s, Lambeth. Needless to say, Jadis did not fit in with the Delavals, at one point quarelling with his brother-in-law, Lord Tyrconnel, and challenging him to a duel. Sophia endured her husband for some six years, at which point they parted. He was paid £100 per annum by Sir John. Sophia died in 1793, leaving unpaid bills (probably for opium) for £96. Her son was brought up by his grandmother, Susanna, at Seaton. (see M. Green, The Delavals. A Family History, Newcastle, 2007, pp.97-8). She appears to be holding an optical device designed to reduce and endow the landscape seen through it with the golden tones of the 17th century French painter Claude Lorrain. The attribution was suggested by Anthony Mould. The artist was probably the Alcock living and working in Bath in 1757. In 1759/60 he was living at Birmingham, and by 1778 he was in London 1778. He must be the Alcock (no initial) who exhibited small portraits and genre pictures at the RA in 1778. His signed and dated portraits range from 1762 to 1774, including neat, small full-lengths in the style of Devis (cf., in particular, the portrait of Giles Bridges, Duke of Chandos (30 x 25 ins., sold Doyles, N.Y., January 24th 2001, lot 101), which shares the same attenuation of the body, pinched facial features, and the setting of the figure in context.
accepted in lieu of tax by H.M. Treasury and transferred to the National Trust in 2009.
Marks and inscriptions
Frame tablet: ANNE DELAVAL, b.1737 d.1812 daughter of / Capt. Francis Blake Delaval R.N. and / wife of The Hon Sir William Stanhope / TILLY KETTLE
Makers and roles
attributed to Edward Alcock (fl.1757 – 1778), artist previously catalogued as attributed to Tilly Kettle (Exeter 1735 – Aleppo 1786), artist previously catalogued as after William Bell (Newcastle-upon-Tyne 1740 - Newcastle-upon-Tyne 1794), artist Hugh Barron (London 1745 – London 1791), artist
The Lie of the Land, MK Gallery, Milton Keynes, 2019