Attributed to Arthur Pond

British, (1701-1758)
Large Scale Portrait of a Lady
Oil on canvas

A fine, large scale portrait of a lady seated in a wooded landscape, attributed to Arthur Pond. The sitter is pictured in a blue silk robe with pink cuffs held in place by jewelled clasps and a string of pearls. On her head is a yellow hat with a blue band, pink trim and flowers. She wears a pearl necklace with matching droplet earrings; symbols of her wealth and rank. Pearls also represented purity and wisdom in portraiture. In her arms she holds a floral garland and by her side is a lamb, often used to denote gentleness, sweetness and innocence. This substantial painting was most likely a betrothal portrait.

Arthur Pond was born in London in 1701, the son of a surgeon. He entered St Martin's Lane Academy in 1720 where he is believed to have studied under John Vanderbank. In 1725, he visited Italy, travelling to Rome with the artist George Knapton and the poet John Dyer. There he studied the Italian Masters and made a number of valuable connections with artists, printmakers and art dealers. He returned to London in 1727 and lived at 16-17, Great Piazza, Covent Garden.

Pond began specialising in portraits and became a highly successful artist, gaining patrons such as Alexander Pope, the Duke of Cumberland, Viscount Dungarvan and Peg Woffington. His most significant patron was Captain Francis Blake Delaval, whom he served as a portrait painter to his family and art tutor to his daughter Lady Rhoda Delaval Astley and son George Delaval, who became his apprentice.

He was also an art collector and amassed a number of old master drawings including those of Rembrandt. Inspired by his collection, Pond began to produce many etchings which imitated the work of some of the great masters such as Rembrandt, Raphael, Salvator Rosa, Parmigianino, Caravaggio, and Poussins. In 1734, he published a series of plates under the title ‘Imitations of the Italian Masters' and joined his friend George Knapton to produce many more reproductions.

In 1752, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society and in the last few years of his life was commissioned to restore wall paintings at Montagu House, London, which had been bought in 1755 to be the new home of the British Museum.

He died at Great Queen Street, Lincoln's Inn Fields on 9 September, 1758 and was buried at All Saints Church, Sanderstead in Croydon. Pond’s Journal of Receipts and Expenses dating from August 1734 until November 1750 and other documents are held by the British Museum. Examples of his work can be found in a number of public collections and art galleries including the Fitzwilliam Museum, Lambeth Palace, National Portrait Gallery, National Trust, Royal College of Physicians, Royal London Hospital Museum and University of Oxford.

Presentation The painting is housed in a period gilt frame which is in excellent condition.
Condition As with all of our original antique oil paintings, this work is offered in ready to hang gallery condition, having just been professionally cleaned, restored and revarnished.
Image Size 50.75 inches x 41.5 inches (129cm x 105.5cm)
Framed Size 58.5 inches x 49.25 inches (148.5cm x 125cm)