Feminist Masterpiece - A delightful and charming watercolour portrait study on 'rag' paper of three young ladies C1838 with superlative facial detail.
A central young lady in lilac dress with lace frills and gilded jet collar brooch, left arm upon another young lady wearing a cream dress with blue green collar bow and bracelet and seated on a brown leather chair or settee; to the left another seated young lady in green dress with lace collar and red bow, pencil in right hand resting on a book. Measuring 38cm x 33.
See provenance below.
Believed to be the three Bronte sisters; Charlotte, Emily & Anne. Bearing faint monogramm 'EL' (Edwin Landseer)(1802-1873)
Removed from wood pulp backing paper C2012 by a professional conservator. Backing paper contains rough pencil sketch of a ladies leg with 'scar' at knee and pencil sketch of Romanesque classical figure verso
A previously undiscovered and unknown portrait of arguably the greatest literary siblings, the Brontë sisters. The delightful watercolour study (acquired by mistake when the current owner purchased a painting from an auction which could not be found- this painting then produced in lieu) is of such high quality that the he started doing some investigation.
The composition and pose of the portrait are classic of the day- there is painted reference to jewellery known to have belonged to the girls and now in the Brontë Parsonage Musem. The artist also included two other ambient features identifying the sitters; the horse-hair sofa with carved swirl and beaded-curve back, still in residence at the parsonage, and proving it is the sofa Emily 'declined to leave' and the unusual colour noted by friend Ellen Nussey; 'walls not papered, but stained with a pretty dove-coloured tint.'
'Further information can be found in the National Portrait Gallery's Heinz Archive in relation to NPG 1444'.
Further- we have now established a firm link between the Brontë family and Edwin Landseer (later Sir- 1802-73) whom we now know frequented Yorkshire and again- the evidence affirms the strong contention that it was Queen Victoria's favourite artist who captured what is already adopted by the establishment as the essential and classic Brontë portrait. There is a monogram 'EL' beneath the wash in the nape of the neck of Anne (rhs) and feint pencil inscription 'Land*eer' lower down the painting.
The leading Landseer authority, Richard Ormond OBE has concluded it 'undoubtedly related' to a pastel drawing attributed to Edwin Landseer and dated 1836 which has previously been identified as the Bronte sisters, an image of which is held on file in the National Portrait Gallery Archive.'
A PDF copy of Brontes, Bohems' and the Fellowship of Dreams 1834: The formative years Book 1 is available upon request. For any further information please contact the office email@example.com
Brontë sisters portrait - Online Only Single Item Auction. Viewing by Appointment.
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