16/05/2023     General News

A portrait of a lady caused quite a stir at our recent online Pictures Sale when it soared way above its guide price of £2,000-£3,000, selling for £24,000.

When the painting was consigned to the sale, the identity of the sitter was unknown but further research by our Pictures and Sculpture Specialist, Rohan McCulloch, identified her as Anne Templer (1758-1832), Lady De La Pole.

Signed and dated 1793, it is believed to be the work of Thomas Beach (1738-1806), well known for his portraits of Georgian society’s elite.

Thomas Beach showed a strong predilection for art at an early age and under the patronage of Lord Dorchester’s family became a pupil of Sir Joshua Reynolds whilst simultaneously studying at the St Martin’s Lane Academy. He went on to settle at the fashionable resort of Bath where he became in high demand for portraits.

Throughout his career, Beach painted many high-profile subjects, including George IV as Prince of Wales; George Pitt the 1st Lord Rivers and John Montagu the 4th Earl of Sandwich. He also exhibited at the Royal Academy every year from 1785 until 1790. Today, Beach’s work can be found in galleries around the world including the National Portrait Gallery and the Dulwich Picture Gallery.

Beach painted members of the well-known Devonshire De La Pole family on several occasions. Anne was considered quite a beauty at the time and was painted by numerous artists – most famously by George Romney whose painting made international headlines at Christie’s London in 1913 when it was purchased for 40,000 guineas – then a record price for any work of art sold in London.

“Beach was one of the finest portraitists of his generation and is particularly noted for capturing a strong resemblance to his subjects,” said Rohan McCulloch. “Indeed the detail of the face is particularly striking.”

 The painting came from a private collection in Devon and was sold to a private collector bidding against the London trade.