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ANTIQUE NUMBER SA1041414: Portrait Of A Young Girl With Her Spaniel - Attributed To Robert Byng (1666-1720)

Portrait Of A Young Girl With Her Spaniel - Attributed To Robert Byng (1666-1720)

£18,000    $23,453    €21,416
A large scale, richly coloured and highly decorative portrait of a young girl holding her spaniel which presents a charming vision of childhood in the first years of eighteenth-century England.
 
The attractive young lady stands full length in a forest clearing, under the same of a tree. In the distance, a tower and church spire can just be glimpsed. With her head slightly inclined she looks directly out at the viewer and engages us with her sympathetic gaze.
 
Sitting aside her upon a grassy outcrop is her pet spaniel, she rests one arm upon it, and with the other she strokes the pup affectionately under its chin.
 
Her costume of a long blue shimmering silk dress and wrap both have finely executed drapery, the latter introduces a welcome element of dynamic movement to this work. The confident handing of the sitters face and plaited hair are also notable.
 
This portrait provides a captivating insight into early-Georgian ideas of childhood innocence. Later in the century, child art began to move to emphasise the innocence and purity of childhood by showing children at play or in moments of un-self-aware contemplation. Here, however, the sitter is shown dressed as a grown-up lady might have been in her portrait, and in this state is as much a miniature woman as a child.
 
Portraits of children, especially those of this scale, were a great luxury in this period and, while the sitter remains tantalisingly unknown, it can be assumed that she was a member of a high status or aristocratic family.
 
Robert Byng (1666– 1720)
 
Bing was born in Wiltshire, but is buried in Oxford where he died in 1720, having lived there since before 1714.
 
He was a pupil of, and very strongly influenced by, Sir Godfrey Kneller (Principal Painter to the King and the most distinguished Baroque portraitist in England). Byng's earliest dated portraits...
Antique #SA1041414, showcased on this page, originates from the 18th century. For historical context, the timeline below highlights the period when it was made:
←C18th
Famous composers historic timeline graphic to help to give historical context to the date of this antique.
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ANTIQUE NUMBER SA1041414
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