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Painting Title Portrait Group: James Howe, Benjamin Tilden and Richard John Thompson
Collection York Art Gallery
Artist Amigoni, Jacopo (Italian painter, ca. 1685-1752)
Date Earliest about 1734
Date Latest about 1738
Description Portraits of a partnership of three York merchants, from left to right: James Howe, seated half-length to right, in a puce coat, his left arm resting on a table; and Benjamin Tilden in a rich blue coat taking snuff with his right hand and pointing right to a framed oval portrait of Thompson, which is held by a black servant. The inscription on the back of the 19th century relining canvas provides the story of the painting : 'Richard Son of Sr Stephn Thompson of York / Merchant at Oporto. / Benjm Tilden his partner. / James Howe Merchant at Leghorn. / Painted at Florence by Sigr Richford / R.T from a picture done at Oporto. 'J. H.' from ye life the whole altered / and corrected at London by Sigr Amiconi B.T from ye life.' The inscription was probably copied from the original canvas. Below, in another hand: 'Date about 1736'. Richard John Thompson (1687-1771) was a younger son of Sir Stephen Thompson of Kirby Hall, Little Ouseburn, York; he died unmarried in Oporto. A portrait of his brother Henry is also in the York City Art Gallery (YORAG : 1150).
Current Accession Number YORAG : 1151
Subject portrait (James Howe, Benjamin Tilden, Richard John Thompson)
Measurements 144 x 193 cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Given by Mrs Violet Ileene Cassandra Knox 1969.
Provenance Thompson family; by desvent to Violet Ileene Cassandra Knox (née Meysey-Thompson).
Publications PREVIEW. City of York Art Gallery Quarterly, 89, January 1970, vol. XXIII, pp. 809, 811-15, as by Amiconi and Ignazio Enrico Hugford; Catalogue Supplement 1974: Amendments and Additions to Catalogue Volumes I and II, City of York Art Gallery, York, 1975, p. 21, pl. 4; Oil Paintings in Public Ownership. North Yorkshire, London, 2006, p. 235.
Notes The heads of Howe (to the left) and in the painted portrait of Thompson are slightly stiffer than that of Tilden and the black servant; perhaps Amiconi worked partially from other models. Co-operation with Ignazio Enrico Hugford (1703-1778) has been rejected. Jacopo Amigoni or Amiconi (1682-1752) was an Italian painter, who began his career in Venice, but travelled throughout Europe, as his portraits were much in demand. He worked in England in the 1730s. The dress of the sitters would confirm a date within Amiconi's London visit, about 1735.
Rights Owner York Museums Trust (York Art Gallery)
Author Dr Magdalena Łanuszka



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