A beautiful portrait of Lydia Augusta Allen (1810-1890) wearing a sumptuous black dress, gold bracelet, and small purple rose.
Lydia hailed from Leamington in Leicestershire and married John Roy Allen (1798-1875), a Cambridge-educated barrister from Somerset. Following their wedding, John Roy began plans for a large marital home in Taunton, which became known as Lyngford House. This quirky building (completed around 1844) had a central octagonal stairwell hall with a cantilevered stair - so it was far from the norm.
Lyngford was one of several properties owned by John Roy and Lydia also spent time at Gatchell House, Trull. For more information on these buildings, please visit http://landedfamilies.blogspot.com/2014/01/101-allen-of-lyngford-house-and.html.
Together, the couple had six children, five of whom were boys.
The portrait was probably completed in around 1835, just a few years after Lydia’s wedding. It’s been superbly rendered with a Joshua Reynolds’ style classical landscape providing a rich backdrop to the image.
The artist, George Clint RA (1770-1854), first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1802 and was generally known as a painter of theatrical subjects. Several of the landed gentry sat for him including Lord Suffield and his family, Lord Egremont, Lord Essex, and Lord Spencer. One of his works, ‘Falstaff relating his valiant exploits’ is currently at the Tate Gallery.
The canvas is housed within a coved Victorian-style reeded frame with decorative inner and outer borders.
Medium: Oil on canvas
Condition: Areas of craquelure but generally in beautiful condition throughout following its light restoration. Canvas relined.
Artist’s auction highlight: £8,370 achieved at Christie’s, USA, in 1995 for ‘The Leicestershire Lass’.
H: 42cm (16.54in)
W: 33cm (12.99in)
D: 2cm (0.79in)