Portrait of Anne Owen

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Portrait of Anne Owen
Portrait of Anne Owen
Portrait of Anne Owen
Miles Wynn Cato Gallery
title=Credit line
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
Portrait of Anne Owen
c. 1737 (undated)
Oil on canvas
Metric: 76 x 63.5 cm
Imperial: 30 x 25 in.
Private Collection, England
Wilson Online Reference
A young woman is shown half-length with head turned slightly to her proper left within a fictive stone oval. She wears a low-cut white satin dress with shimmering highlights, adorned with a vertical row of six jewelled clips, and has half discarded a dark blue cloak behind her. Her shoulder-length hair is carefully styled and adorned with pearls just visible at the back of her head on the left.
By descent at Ynysymaengwyn until 1878; purchased with the estate by John Corbett of Droitwich (1817-1901); by descent to Mary Corbett (d. 1951) who bequeathed the estate to Tywyn Council; purchased by Major-General Lewis Pugh in 1952; by descent; 2017 Miles Wynn Cato Gallery, Ludlow; Private Collection, England
Unsigned; no inscription
Verso inscriptions
[1] Upper horiziontal member of stretcher, left, black ink: 'No_ 5'
[2] Upper horizontal member of stretcher, left centre, pencil: 'Painted 1768 [or 1708]?'
[3] Upper section of vertical member of stretcher, pencil: '15'
[1] Lower horizontal member of stretcher, lower left, MS C19 label, black ink: 'Anne, daughter of Anne Owen | & wife of Pryce Maurice of Lloran
The sitter is Anne Owen (1719-1767), younger daughter of Athelstan and Anne Owen of Ynysymaengwyn, Tywyn, Merioneth and younger sister of Richard Owen.
Related Paintings
P27 Portrait of Richard Owen of Ynysymaengwyn, National Museum Wales, Cardiff
Critical commentary
The portrait has only recently become known. The sitter's older brother Richard was painted by Richard Wilson in the late 1740s (P27). In 1740, aged 21, Anne married the 41-year-old Pryce Maurice of Lloran Uchaf in Denbighshire. When Richard Owen died childless, this couple inherited the Ynysymaengwyn estate and under the terms of Anne's maternal grandfather's will, they took the name Corbet. It is notable that the Ynysymaengwyn estate also included property in and around Aberdyfi and as such it was one of the closest substantial landed estates to Penegoes, where Richard Wilson was born. A fascinating letter describing how many of the Ynysymaengwyn portraits were rescued from outhouses behind the mansion in 1952 belongs to the current owner.
J. Steegman, A Survey of Portraits in Welsh Houses, vol. 2, 1962, p. 23, cat. 11
Kate Lowry noted (February 2018): In this half-length portrait Anne Owen is posed full face with her head tilted slightly sideways to the right against a greenish grey background within a painted roundel, similar to that found in her brother Richard's portrait (P27). The current owner has related how the Ynysymaengwyn portraits were rescued from outhouses behind the mansion in 1952. A 1950s restoration was badly done and involved a lot of overpaint. The owner has since had further overpaint dating from a restoration of c. 2000-1 largely removed.
Support: A medium weight simple weave linen canvas which has been relined onto a similar weight canvas and stretched onto a seven-member pine stretcher with square mortice joints and provision for keying out. The lining may date from the restoration carried out in the 1950s. Original turnovers were removed at the time of lining and the work attached to the stretcher with tacks through the lining turnovers. These are covered by paper tape. The lining and attachment are in excellent condition and the canvas is well in plane. There are no obvious signs of old damages or tears to the original canvas.
A label hand-written in ink on the lower stretcher member reads: 'Anne, daughter of Anne Owen | wife of Pryce Maurice of Lloran'. The style of the writing suggests the label predates the twentieth-century restoration of the painting.
Ground: The canvas has a smooth, grey, oil ground which was probably commercially prepared. This ground layer is clearly visible in the face around the mouth and nose, as well as at the left-hand hairline. The eyes which are relatively undamaged show the characteristic modelling and highlighting found in Wilson's portraits and the use of the exposed grey ground as part of the modelling on the nose and lips is also characteristic of his style.
Surface layers: Some of the dark brown overpaint has recently been removed from the hair.
Since the report above P226 has been conserved by Annabelle Monaghan and the attribution to Wilson confirmed.
Updated by Compiler
2018-02-02 00:00:00