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Portrait Of Lady Henrietta Louisa Fermor Nee Jeffreys, Countess Of Pomfret C.1742; Attributed To Thomas Bardwell (1704-1767), Oil On Canvas Painting


£8,250 | $10,501 USD | €9,412 EUR
Item Number: SA1030784
Date of manufacture: 18th Century
Current Status: For sale
Seller: Titan Fine Art
This antique has been viewed 37 times in the past month with the most views from Malta.


The sitter in this luxurious portrait is Henrietta Jeffreys; she was an early 'blue-stocking', a keen writer and traveller, biographer of van Dyck, and friend of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu and Lady Hertford. She has been depicted wearing an azure blue velvet dress with white fur lining, over a rich golden brocaded bodice and white lace edged smock. The attire and the red swag curtain afford the portrait a theatricality (the clothing is perhaps masquerade attire). The drapery has been defined with lightness and dexterity - the treatment of the lace is superb. Its remarkable quality is evidenced by the fact that it was painted by the proficient English painter Thomas Bardwell, who is known to have painted the sitter on more than one occasion (see photo).
Bardwell was described as “through the power of genius and dint of application, acquired a degree of perfection in his art”. He wrote a book in 1756 (which enjoyed great popularity and repeated editions after his death) entitled “The Practice of Painting and Perspective Made Easy”. Remarkably, he was granted a Crown copyright for his book, which gave him the sole rights - a practise that was highly exceptional in the eighteenth century. No doubt can exist that Bardwell’s book was held in great esteem for almost a century after it was written. The book is also considered as one of the most original productions of its kind written in England.
Henrietta Jeffreys was the only child of John Jeffreys, 2nd Baron Jeffreys, she took after her remarkable grandfather, the celebrated Judge Jeffreys, rather than her dissolute father who died at the age of only 28. She was born on 15th November 1698 in Leicester Square, London. On 14th July 1720 she married Thomas Fermor, 2nd Lord Lempster. The next year their first child was born, and her husband was created Earl of Pomfret. In 1725 she became Lady of the Bedchamber to the Princess of Wales, and her husband became Knight of the Bath and Master of the Horse to Queen Caroline. When the Queen died in 1737, Henrietta retired from Court and the next year, with her husband and their two eldest daughters, they set off on a three-year European tour. They finally left Italy in March 1741 and returned to England. When back in England they attended the Duchess of Norfolk's masquerade and were noted to have "trudged in like pilgrims, with vast staffs in their hands!". Our portrait is datable to this period.
She kept a journal from 1736 until her death in 1762, and this is a valuable source of information on the changing tastes of the time, and in particular, of the Countess's remarkable connoisseurship. In the 1740's she recorded an extensive tour of houses in the Palladian style. In 1757 some land adjoining Lord Granville's house in Arlington Street became vacant, and she began to build the picturesque Pomfret Castle, a fine Gothick mansion overlooking St James's Park. She died on 15th December 1761 and was buried at Easton Neston.
Thomas Bardwell, was born, probably at Worlingworth, Suffolk, in 1704. Thomas established himself as a decorative painter at Bungay, Suffolk and by 1732 had a thriving business, employing at least one apprentice, a business that he handed over to his younger brother Robert. His first known dated painting is a conversation piece from 1736. Thereafter he established a good local clientele. In 1752 he journeyed to Scotland, via Yorkshire, painting several portraits and some decorative work. Thomas was back in the south by the end of 1753 and from 1759 to the end of his life thrived as a portraitist in Norwich.
Provenance: Sotheby’s London 10th July 1991 [Lot 126]
Much more info about this item can be found at: www.titanfineartcom.
All of our paintings are in very good condition having passed strict quality and condition assessments by one of our professional conservators.
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This item is antique. The date of manufacture has been declared as 18th Century.


Height = 120 cm (47.2")
Width = 102 cm (40.2")
Depth = 10 cm (3.9")

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