Captain Walter Griffith of Bron-Gain

Captain Walter Griffith of Bron-Gain
Captain Walter Griffith of Bron-Gain
Captain Walter Griffith of Bron-Gain
The National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth
title=Credit line
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
Captain Walter Griffith of Bron-Gain
c.1750 (undated)
Oil on canvas
Metric: 76.8 x 63.8 cm
Imperial: 30 1/4 x 25 1/8 in.
Accession Number
Wilson Online Reference
Half-length male portrait, three-quarter profile in a fictive stone oval frame. The young sitter is highlighted against a blue-grey plain background. His hair is dressed and he wears a white cravat and a brown coat edged with gold braid, open to reveal a blue waistcoat, similarly edged.
Anon sale, Sotheby's 2 March 1983 (39); Good Golly Products; Christie's 1 March 1985 (112); Corner House Gallery, Axbridge, from whom purchased by the National Library of Wales, 1985
Unsigned; no inscription
Verso inscriptions
[1] Upper half of lining, white chalk: 23 [?] encircled
[2] Upper horizontal stretcher bar, black ink: Richard Wilson, Capt. Walter Griffith PE4456
[3] Left vertical stretcher bar, lower end, sale stamp: EL549
[4] Right vertical stretcher bar, white chalk: LOT 112 1st MARCH 1985
[1] Upper horizontal member of frame, right, handwritten, black ink: GOGERDDAN / DEPOSIT COLLN. / 21 FEB. 1950. / B!4 / [in different hand:] Ffrom [illegible]
[2] Upper right corner at junction of stretcher bars, handwritten label stapled on: 112 | 1st MARCH 85
[3] Lower left corner at junction of stretcher bars: modern museum label
Walter Griffith (1727-1779), was born on 15 May 1727, the younger son of Ralph Griffith, of Bron-gain in Llanfechain, Monmouthshire. He went on to a distinguished career in the navy, first going to sea at sixteen, taking part in the War of Austrian Succession until 1748, and on the West India station until 1750. Recommissioned in 1753, he is likely to have sat to Wilson shortly before the artist's departure for Italy in late 1750. He was promoted to captain in 1759 and rendered valuable service in the actions which led up to the battle of Quiberon Bay. From 1760 to 1763, when he retired, he was on the Mediterranean. The War of American Independence recalled him to active service, and he was killed in an encounter with the French in Fort Royal Bay off St Lucia on 18 December 1779.
Viewed in the C19 compo frame. Kate Lowry has noted: Glue relined onto similar weight simple weave linen canvas. Original turnovers removed at time of lining. Drapery and brocade are a little flat and lacking in detail but otherwise good. Facial features, modelling of nose and mouth and the mask-like edge to the sitter's hairline are typical of Wilson. There are pentimenti to the left and right of the face.
Updated by Compiler
2020-04-24 00:00:00