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Lords John and Bernard Stuart

After
Anthony van Dyck, Flemish, 1599–1641
Artist
Thomas Gainsborough, English, 1727–1788
Date
c.1760–70
Material
Oil on canvas
Made in
England, Europe
Classification
Paintings
Current Location
On View, Gallery 202
Dimensions
92 1/2 x 57 1/2 in. (235 x 146.1 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of Mrs. Jackson Johnson in memory of Mr. Jackson Johnson
Rights
Contact Us
Object Number
15:1943
NOTES
Lords John Stuart (1621–1644) and Bernard Stuart (1623–45), depicted here, died fighting for the Royalists against the Parliamentarians during the English Civil War, 1642–1651. They were memorialized in a famous painting by the Flemish painter Anthony van Dyck (1599–1641). Like many English painters of his day, Thomas Gainsborough was a great admirer of Van Dyck. In copying Van Dyck’s portrait of the Stuart brothers, Gainsborough undoubtedly admired the earlier artist’s brilliance in handling the two-figured composition, a far more challenging task than painting a single figure or a group of three. Van Dyck echoed the bent right elbow of Lord John with the bent knee of his brother, and varied the height and orientation of the two young men to make a pleasing and graceful composition.
- 1789
Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788), London, England; Gainsborough Dupont (1754-1797), London, England, by inheritance [1]

1789 - 1925
John Bligh (1767-1831), 4th Earl of Darnley, Kent, England, purchased from Gainsborough Dupont; Edward Bligh (1795-1884), 5th Earl of Darnley, by inheritance; John Stuart Blight (1827-1896), 6th Earl of Darnley, by inheritance; Edward Henry Stuart Bligh (1851-1900), 7th Earl of Darnley, by inheritance; Ivo Francis Walter Bligh (1859-1927), 8th Earl of Darnley, by inheritance [2]

1925/05/01 -
Bromhead and Cutts, Inc., London, England, purchased at auction, "Catalogue of Important Pictures by Old Masters: The Property of Rt. Hon. The Earl of Darnley, removed from Cobham Hall, Kent," Christie, Manson, & Woods, London, England, May 1, 1925, lot no. 20 [3]

by 1927 - 1943
Jackson Johnson (1859-1929) and Minnie Alva Johnson, St. Louis, MO, USA [4]

1943 -
Saint Louis Art Museum, given by Mrs. Jackson Johnson in memory of Mr. Jackson Johnson [5]


Notes:
[1] At the time of Gainsborough's death, the painting passed to his nephew, Gainsborough Dupont ["Gainsborough's Collection of Pictures." London: The Burlington Magazine Ltd, 1944].

[2] The 4th Earl of Darnley, John Bligh, was the buyer of the painting from Gainsborough Dupont. The catalogue lists the painting as lot no. 92 titled "Two Sons of James Stewart. Duke of Richmond and Lenox, after Van Dyck." The original catalogue for "Catalogue of the Pictures and Drawings of the Late Mr. Gainsborough," is rare and does not relate to a sale by auction, see Burlington Magazine article for reproduction ["Gainsborough's Collection of Pictures." London: The Burlington Magazine Ltd, 1944]. See the auction catalog ["Catalogue of Important Pictures by Old Masters: The Property of Rt. Hon. The Earl of Darnley, removed from Cobham Hall Kent." Christie, Manson, & Woods, London, May 1, 1925, lot no. 20]. Note that according to this source, the Earl of Darnley purchased the painting from the artist's widow in 1789.

[3] For auction catalogue, see note [2]. In the 1958 monograph, Bromhead and Cutts, Inc.. is referenced as the buyer [Waterhouse, Ellis. "Gainsborough." London: Edward Hulton, Ltd., 1958, p. 124].

[4] Jackson Johnson lent the painting to the exhibition "Selected Paintings Lent by Saint Louisans" at the City Art Museum of St. Louis in August 1927 ["Selected Paintings Lent by Saint Louisans" St. Louis: City Art Museum of St. Louis, 1927].

[5] Minutes of the Administrative Board of Control of the City Art Museum, February 4, 1943.
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