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Portrait of Boulter Tomlinson
National Museum Wales, Cardiff
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
Portrait of Boulter Tomlinson
1740
Oil on canvas
127 x 101.6 cm
50 x 40 in.
NMW A 5194
P5
Tercentenary 2014 (ex-cat exhibited at National Museum of Wales, Cardiff)
Sold from Stoke Edith House Herefordshire; with Agnew's, London; purchased by the National Museum of Wales, 1964
Signed and dated mid-right on base of column: R. Wilson 1740
The red ground, perhaps a commercial preparation, is a little unusual but the flesh tones are underpainted in grey, as is normally found in Wilson's work. X-radiography shows that the initial design was for a simple landscape background. No underdrawing visible in infra-red light.
Frame inscribed: Boulter Tomlinson married Sarah Foley. Painted by R. Wilson at the Bedford Coffee House, Covent Garden 1742
Boulter Tomlinson was a gentleman who lived in Cheltenham and married Sarah Foley, daughter of Thomas Foley and Mary Wharter of Stoke Edith House, Herefordshire
The columns and fountain indicate that the sitter wished to be represented as a man of some wealth
1965.1
John Steegman recorded the painting at Stoke Edith in 1947, when he noted the inscription on the frame
Kate Lowry has noted: Original linen canvas has simple weave with c.13 threads per sq. cm. Original turnovers removed at time of lining. An old right-angled tear in original canvas at lower left in fountain and small hole to left of sitter's chin repaired by lining. Pine stretcher probably dates from present lining. Commercially prepared oil ground is red in colour. Flesh is underpainted with a opaque grey tone whilst the background has a transparent warm brown underpaint. Notable decorative pattern of lace cuffs achieved by drawing with the brush handle in wet paint. No underdrawing visible in IR light but X-ray suggests a landscape may have originally been planned for the upper background. Widespread mature cracks. No drying cracks.