The Assizes of Westminster Hall

Circle of William Hogarth (British, 1697-1764)

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Probably H.A.J. (Hugh Andrew Johnstone) Munro of Novar [1794-1865], London and Novar, Highland, Scotland.{1} Earl of Lonsdale, Lowther, Penrith [1867- 1953]; sale, Christie's, London in 1952.{2} probably directly to (Leggatt Brothers, London);{3} probably (Hirschl & Adler, New York), by 1956 .{4} (Max Safron, New York); {5} Mr. Joseph Irwin Miller, Columbus, Indiana in 1956; given to the IMA in 1987 (1987.180).

{1}The 1952 auction catalogue cited below in footnote 2 lists H.A.J. Munro, Esq, as the owner of the painting in 1867. This painting may therefore have been in the auction at Christie, Manson & Woods, London, Modern Portion of the celebrated collection of pictures, formed with well-known taste by that eminent amateur, H.A.J. Munro, 11 May 1867, although this has not yet been verified. It does appear in the collection catalogue prepared by William Frost and Henry Reeve, Catalogue of the Paintings, Water-colour Drawings, and Prints, in the collection of the late Hugh Andrew Johnstone Munro, Esq. of Novar, London?, Privately printed, 1865, no.158.
{2}Christie's, London, Pictures by Old Masters, the properties of the Rt. Hon. The Earl of Lonsdale, O.B.E., The Viscount Gage [etc], 7 March 1952, lot. 32.
{3}Correspondence exists from October-November 1956 between Oscar Johnson, President of Leggatt Brothers, London, the Hogarth scholar R.B. Beckett and a "Mr. Hirschl" - presumably Norman Hirschl of Hirschl & Adler -- about this painting, see IMA Historical File (1987.180).
{4} Oscar Johnson identifies the painting as belonging to "Mr. Hirschl" in the 1956 correspondence.
{5}The correspondence cited in footnote 3 was sent to Mr. J. Irwin Miller by Max Safron on 16 November 1956, see IMA Historical File (1987.180).

Object Information

Circle of William Hogarth (British, 1697-1764)
creation date
oil on canvas
40-1/2 x 49-3/4 in.
accession number
credit line
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. J. Irwin Miller
Public Domain
European Painting and Sculpture Before 1800
deaccessioned on
transfer notes
To be offered at the Old Masters Sale 30 October 2018
Kjell Wangensteen, Associate Curator of European Art: While generally 'Hogarthian' character, this painting is certainly not by him, as Elizabeth Einberg has confirmed. The work lacks the clear narrative focus and sharpness of line that define Hogarth's well-known paintings, and the technique itself is woefully deficient: the larger figures in the foreground are ineptly drawn, and those in the background are blocked in crudely. These deficiencies are amplified by the painting's poor condition, with extremely yellowed varnish, surface abrasions, and a prominent puncture in the upper right corner of the canvas. The frame is also abraded, with considerable flaking and losses, and is covered in cheap-looking gold paint. As with the IMA's alleged portrait of Brook Watson (44.56), the subject and size of the painting make it potentially attractive to collectors on the market, whereas its inherent defects ensure that it has no place on the IMA's walls or in its
Deaccession Policy

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