Captain Michael Everitt, R.N.

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Captain Michael Everitt, R.N.
Captain Michael Everitt, R.N.
Captain Michael Everitt, R.N.
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Everard Studley Miller Bequest, 1960 (623-5) Everard Studley Miller Bequest, 1960 (623-5)
title=Credit line
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
Captain Michael Everitt, R.N.
c.1747-48 (undated)
Oil on canvas
Metric: 121 x 105.5 cm
Imperial: 47 5/8 x 41 1/2 in.
Accession Number
Wilson Online Reference
Captain Michael Everitt stands three-quarter length, leaning on an anchor before rocks on the left. To the right in the background, the sea can be seen, with three ships, of which the nearest has unfilled sails, the second has engaged white sails and the third is far into the distance. Pin-edged clouds run vertically up the right side of the composition.
Moscow 1979 (40)
Painted for Captain Michael Everitt; by descent to Charles Briggs Calmady, Langden Hall, Devon; probably Emily Calmady, 1844; Montague Bernard, 21 Ryder Street, London W.1 by 1955; acquired from him on the advice of A.J.L. McDonnell and Dr Ursula Hoff by the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, under the terms of the Everard Studley Miller Bequest (623-5), 1959. Arrived Melbourne 1960.
According to Hoff (1995), signed on the blade of the anchor: R. Wilson f.
No signature visible in August 2013
Verso inscriptions
[1] Inscribed on the back of the lining canvas, probably transcribed from the original canvas: 'Admiral Everitt | Painted by Wilson'
[1] Captain Charles Everitt, R.N. father of Ad. Calmady Colonel Everitt and Captain Michael Everitt painted by Wilson. Emily Calmady 1844
The sitter was born in 1717 and died on 13 September 1776 at Fareham, Hampshire. He became a lieutenant in the Royal Navy on 15 June 1744 and was promoted to the rank of captain on 23 December 1747. The portrait may have been painted in celebration of that appointment and was probably commissioned at the suggestion of Admiral Thomas Smith, a close friend of Wilson. Everitt was later to distinguish himself at the Battle of Port Mahon, Majorca, where his gallantry was mentioned in Admiral Byng's dispatch of 25 May 1756. At the end of that year he was recalled to England to give evidence at Byng's trial after his failure to defend Fort St Philip from the French.
Related Paintings
P9A Admiral Thomas Smith, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich
Critical commentary
Wilson owed many of his early portrait commissions to the Lyttelton family of Hagley Hall, Worcestershire. Thomas Smith was the natural son of Sir Thomas Lyttelton. The present portrait closely resembles P9A Admiral Thomas Smith, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London. Both were painted during or just after a period when Wilson had been associated with Hogarth's project to decorate the Foundling Hospital and demonstrate the influence of Hogarth's Captain Thomas Coram, The Foundling Museum, London.
Annual Bulletin of the National Gallery of Victoria, vol. 11, 1960; Constable 1962, pp. 142-45, no. 3, fig. 15; Tomory & Gaston 1989, p. 54, no. 145, repr.; Hoff 1973, pp. 164-65, fig. 206; Hoff 1995, pp. 318-19, repr.
More Information
Although the 1844 label describes the sitter as Captain Charles Everitt, the father of Admiral Calmady, contemporary documents indicate that it was Captain Michael Everitt who was the father of Admiral Calmady (1754-1807) and that it was the latter who bore the name Charles (adopting the surname Calmady on his marriage in 1789).
In a period frame with a rough surface. Relined. Cleaned prior to purchase. Adjustments present along the profile of the figure, and a pentimento at the right cuff.