A Cherished Child of the Early Georgian Age
Until only very recently this portrait remained in the possession of the sitter’s descendants, and was not known of outside the family circle. Painted in 1744 or 1745, it is an uncommonly intimate and informal portrait of a child in the context of early Georgian portraiture, and, as such, a valuable addition to Hayman’s known oeuvre. It is one of numerous surviving portraits of the family of Grosvenor Bedford (1708-1771), one of Hayman’s most consistent patrons and a retainer of the Walpoles. Charles Bedford is seen when a few years older sitting on a St Bernard dog with his sister Elizabeth in a larger canvas of 1746-7 still privately owned (see Brian Allen, Francis Hayman, 1987, col. pl. II, p. 8) and in Grosvenor Bedford with his Wife Jane and Son Charles (Exeter, Royal Albert Memorial Museum). A friend of Hogarth and David Garrick, and teacher of Gainsborough, Hayman holds an important position in the history of British art, and yet his paintings appear only infrequently on the market today.
See a larger image and details of the work here.