Portrait of Mrs. Butler (Penelope Carwardine)

Circle of George Romney (British, 1734-1802)

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Rev. Henry A. Carwardine. A. Hatton Beebe, Esquire, by 1900.{1} Probably James Orrock, Esquire, [1829-1913] of Rhode Island;{2} William Hesketh Lever, 1st Viscount Leverhulme [1851-1925], London, England, definitely before 1926 and probably before Orrock's death in 1913; Sale, The Anderson Galleries, New York, New York, in 1926;{3} Miss H. Coulihan, Agent.{4} R. L. Skofield, Greenwich, Connecticut, before 1940; Sale, Parke-Bernet, New York, New York, in 1940.{5} Benno Bordiga, New York; given to IMA in 1974 (74.657).

{1} Lent by A. Hatton Beebe to a 1900 exhibition in Birmingham, as documented in the catalogue compiled by Whitworth Wallis and Arthur Bensley Chamberlain, Illustrated Catalogue of a Loan Collection of Portraits by Sir Joshua Reynolds, George Romney, Thomas Gainsborough, John Hoppner, Sir Henry Raeburn, and other Artists, Museum and Art Gallery, City of Birmingham, 1900, cat. no. 3 (not ill.), whose entry gives the name Rev. Henry A. Carwardine as a previous owner. A printed label from this exhibition appears on the stretcher "1900 B.A. M. [Birmingham Art Museum] Exhibition of Selected Works by English Portrait Painters XVIIIth and Early XIXth century, sent by (illegible) Hatton Beebe, Esq." The provenance of this painting and an apparent additional version, identified by Humphrey Ward and W. Roberts, Romney: A Biographical and Critical Essay with a Catalogue Raisonné of his Works, London, 1904, vol. 2, p. 23, have often been confused as they are admittedly difficult to separate definitively. Listed here are therefore only the confirmed owners, who are able to be tracked due to mention of the 1900 B.A.M. label on the stretcher. {2} It is known that James Orrock, the collector, painter and polemicist, had a vast art collection; see the lavish publication by Byron Webber, James Orrock, R.I. painter, connoisseur, collector, London 1903, 2 vols. Although these two volumes contain many interior photos of this Rhode Island estate, the portrait of Miss Penelope Carwardine is not among the paintings visible in the photos. {3} Romney's "Mrs. Butler (Miss Carwardine)" was lot 233 at The Anderson Galleries, New York, The Art Collections of the Late Viscount Leverhulme [Part Two] Paintings, 12 February 1926. The entry for the painting makes reference to the 1900 B.A.M. label but erroneously identifies the city as Brighton and the owners name as A. Hatton Beek. Plans for the auction of Viscount Leverhulme's collection in New York were made while he was still alive and met great resistance in England. {4}See New York Times, "Leverhulme Sales Close to $1,000,000", 20 February 1926, gives this agent's name under no. 233. {5} This painting was included in the Sale at Parke-Bernet, New York, Notable Paintings by Raeburn, Romney, Reynolds [etc.], property of R.L. Skofield [among others], 1 February 1940, lot 70 (ill.) The entry on the painting mentions the 1900 B.A.M. label with the same mistakes as in footnote 2 above.

Object Information

Circle of George Romney (British, 1734-1802)
oil on canvas
30-1/4 x 25-1/8 in.
accession number
credit line
Gift of Mr. Benno Bordiga
Public Domain
European Painting and Sculpture Before 1800
deaccessioned on
transfer notes
Sold on 2/9/2009 in the Interiors sale (Lot 51)
Secondary example
Deaccession Policy