Lot 71: Dowdney (George, active 1730-1750)



2015-07-08 11:51:21

Lot 71: Dowdney (George, active 1730-1750). Reverend Christopher Pitt, half-length (?) half-length portrait of the Reverend Christopher Pitt in clerical dress and wig, titled upper right, sometime re-lined and discreetly restored, Rowley Gallery label on stretcher, 76 x 63.5cm (30 x 25ins), gilt moulded frame. Provenance: By direct family descent. Depicting the author and churchman Christopher Pitt (1699-1748) in later life, he was at the time Rector of Pimperne in Dorset, a short distance from his place of birth at Blandford. Taking an M.A. from New College Oxford, he published a translation of Vida's 'Art of Poetry' in Dublin in 1726 and a translation of Virgil's 'Aeneid' in 1740. Pitt's poem, 'The Plague of Marseilles', was published anonymously in 1721. This portrait, together with the two portraits in the following lot, are listed in the will of the sitter's nephew Rev. James John Talman (1768-1820, rector of Christchurch), where they are described as 'by Dowdney' (information supplied by vendor). Little is known of the artist George Dowdney except for a brief entry in Ellis Waterhouses' Dictionary of British 18th Century Painters (1985, page 112) and two portraits at Kingston Lacy, near Wimborne Minster, Dorset, depicting Henry Bankes (1698-1776, MP) and John Bankes the Younger (1692-1772, MP). An inventory of paintings cleaned by Dowdney in 1731 also survives at Kingston Lacy (see Ian McClure, The Framing of Wooden Panels, in The Structural Conservation of Panel Paintings, edited by Kathleen Dardes and Andrea Rothe, 1998). (1) Dominic Winter's Fine Art & Antiques Auction July 2015 Thursday, 16th July 2015 Estimate: £400-600
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