Attr. Francis Wheatley, R.A. (English, 1747-1801) oil on canvas cabinet size portrait paintings of two young men in white wigs, one wearing a brown coat, the other wearing a green coat, both identified on labels, verso, as members of Lord Trimbleston's family, family name Barnwalle. Unsigned. Subject in brown coat: 10 7/8" x 8 7/8" sight, 12 7/8" x 11" framed; Subject in green coat: 11 1/4" x 9 1/8" sight, 13 1/2" x 11" framed. Circa 1780. Note: The Barnewalles were a noble family of Ireland. Biography: Francis Wheatley was born in London in 1747, the son of a master tailor in Covent Garden. First placed under Daniel Fournier, a neighbor who was a drawing master, he was subsequently trained at the drawing school run by William Shipley, the founder of the (Royal) Society of Arts. He was a pupil of an unidentified Mr. Wilson, perhaps Benjamin Wilson, when, in 1762, he won the Society's premium for a drawing of the human figure. In 1763 he won a similar prize and is recorded as traveling abroad, perhaps in France and the Low Countries. In 1766 he won the Society's second prize for a landscape drawn from nature. In 1769 he entered the Royal Academy Schools as one of its first students. In 1770 he was elected a member of the Society of Artists, where he had first exhibited in 1765, becoming a director in 1774. He assisted John Hamilton Mortimer on the decoration of the ceiling of the saloon at Brocket Hall, Hertfordshire, between 1771 and 1773, and later in the decade went on sketching tours, for example to Devonshire in 1778. Wheatley lived extravagantly and ran into debt; in 1779, with the aid of a loan from Benjamin West which he never repaid, he went to Dublin with the wife of a fellow artist, J. A. Gresse, whom he passed off as his own. In 1783 he returned to England… he was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy in 1790 and became a full Academician in 1791. (source: The National Gallery, London). Provenance: the estate of Martha Dodge, Hendersonville, TN; the estate of Marvin Dodge (brother to Mrs. Dodge's late husband, Robert), Palm Beach, Florida; the estate of Clarence Mack, Palm Beach, Florida. Marvin Dodge was the caretaker/companion of noted American architect Clarence Mack, and inherited several antiques (now in this auction) from him. Biography: Clarence Mack, known for designing Georgian Revival homes in Ohio's prestigious Shaker Heights and Lakewood areas, and later in Palm Beach, was born in 1888 and grew up on Cleveland's west side and in Lakewood. Mack's houses were all apparently built for speculation; he is said to have bought the property, designed each house and acted as contractor, furnished the houses with antiques purchased from his European travels, and lived in many of them before selling them. His business slowed with the advent of the Stock Market crash of 1929. He spent 5 years traveling around the world before settling in Palm Beach, Florida in 1935. He continued to design and build there until his retirement in 1962, his name becoming synonymous with the "Palm Beach Regency Style." Never married, Mack died in Palm Beach in 1982. (sources: The Lakewood Historical Society and the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History, Case Western Reserve University.) CONDITION: Both relined, with later frames; craquelure, especially on the painting of the subject in green coat. Subject in brown coat has approximately 1" area of retouch to forehead.
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