COWPER, WILLIAM (1731-1800, poet)
Lot 52
COWPER, WILLIAM (1731-1800, poet)
Sold for £240 (US$ 391) inc. premium

Lot Details
COWPER, WILLIAM (1731-1800, poet)
PORTRAIT BY M.B. AFTER GEORGE ROMNEY (1734-1802), wash en grisaille, head and shoulders, three-quarters turned to the right, wearing the lace cap which Lady Hesketh had given him, signed and dated round the lower right-hand corner 'M.B. 23rd Sept 1808' and lettered in capitals in the lower margin 'Cowper', framed and glazed, size of image 9 x 7 inches (23 x 18 cm), overall size 16 x 13 inches (40 x 33 cm), 3 September 1808

Footnotes

  • This attractive if stylised copy of Romney's famous crayon portrait of Cowper was made only eight years after the poet's death. The original was painted in 1792 at the instigation of William Hayley and occasioned Cowper's sonnet 'Romney! expert infallibly to trace...'. Hayley recorded that Romney's portrait was so successful that 'spectators who contemplated the portrait with the original at its side, thought it hardly possible for any similitude to be more striking, or more exact...Romney himself considered his portrait of Cowper as the nearest approach that he had ever made to a perfect representation of life and character.' Romney's portrait was engraved in 1802 by Hayley's protégé William Blake who also based on it his own tempera painting of Cowper.
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