Portrait of Dr. Thomas Penrose holding a sketch book, seated on a bank overlooking the Duomo and Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, Italy.

Portrait of Dr. Thomas Penrose, 1798

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Oil on canvasexpand_more

The John R. Van Derlip Fundexpand_more  66.20

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Louis Gauffier was one of many French artists who fled Rome in 1793 in order to escape Roman reprisals following the execution of Louis XVI in France. Arriving in Florence, Gauffier the history painter adopted a portrait genre based on the flourishing market for commemorative likenesses of aristocrats set in characteristic landscapes of the region.

Thomas Penrose (1769-1851) was neither an artist (as the sketchbook he holds suggests), nor an aristocrat. However, the sitter had diplomatic ambitions and, at the time of this portrait, was serving as secretary to the English envoy to the Duke of Tuscany. With a high degree of finish, Gauffier depicts Penrose above Florence on an upper terrace of the Boboli gardens.

Details
Title
Portrait of Dr. Thomas Penrose
Artist Life
1762 - 1801
Role
Artist
Accession Number
66.20
Provenance
[1] Private collection, England (until 1862, sale, Sotheby's, London, April 4, 1962, no. 56, to Wildenstein;[2] [Wildenstein and Co., London and New York, 1962–66l sold to Mia] [1] Philippe Borde (MIA Bulletin, 1971) suggests that Gauffier kept the portrait himself until his death on 8 Feb, 1851. He held the vicarship in Writtle-cum-Roxwell from 1814 to his death, and pursued a Doctorate from Oxford in 1818. Borde also says that the history prior to the Sotheby's sale is not known, but most probably the painting was sold by heirs of the sitter, who is identified in the auction catalogue. [2] Copy of auction catalogue in curatorial file. Listed as 'Other Properties'. Buyer on price list is Wildenstein for $3,360.00.
Curator Approved

This record is from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator, so may be inaccurate or incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

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Portrait of Dr. Thomas Penrose holding a sketch book, seated on a bank overlooking the Duomo and Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, Italy.