Portrait of Mary

June 29, 2008 at 9:29 pm (portraits and paintings) (, , , , , )

A while ago I found the image of the Beechey portrait of “Master Gosling” (William-Ellis Gosling, Mary’s eldest brother) at the website linked in the post below – but only tonight did I read its (lengthy) descriptive article about this work, Beechey’s children’s portraits, and the Gosling family portraits. Be advised: some of the information in the article is incorrect. (There were two Mrs Goslings: the woman who paid for the portraits was the Hon. Charlotte (de Grey) Gosling; the woman who gave birth to these children was Margaret Elizabeth (Cunliffe) Gosling. Mary Cunliffe was Eliza’s elder sister who married Charles Joshua Smith’s great-uncle, Drummond Smith.)

So a great surprise in store once I reached the end of the article: the double portrait – of Mary and her sister Elizabeth – had been sold through Sotheby’s in 1958:

“The three male Gosling portraits are presently unlocated but the double portrait of Mary and Elizabeth Gosling sitting at a box piano was sold from the Sir Richard Spencer-Smith collection Sotheby’s, London, February 19, 1958, lot 54, bt Leger £280.”

The book from which information was taken (a Beechey biography by William Roberts*) is incorrectly interpreted; as mentioned below: all three sons, both parents and the double-portrait of the two girls were executed by Beechey – a total of six works.

Of course I’m seeking a peek at this portrait. Any information about its whereabouts would be most appreciated! Send me a photo and I’d have to devise you some out-of-this-world reward…

[*a comment on the Robert’s book: this is the same biography from which the accounts [below] were taken – it was published in 1907 and could NOT have information about a sale that took place in 1958, although the third citation in the website article would make you read it that way.]

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