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Painting Title Portrait of a Lady of the Willey Family
Alternative Title Portrait of Mrs. Francis Willey [?]
Collection York Art Gallery
Artist Mercier, Philippe (French painter, 1689-1760, active in England)
Date 1741 (dated)
Signed yes
Description This half-length oval portrait of a lady looking half right, dressed in a blue dress, was painted by Mercier while he was in Yorkshire. The painting is one of a group of three depictions that most likely are the portraits of a lady (YORAG : 1386), her husband (YORAG : 1385) and their son (YORAG : 1387) from the Willey Family. The identification of the sitters as Francis Willey I, Mrs. Francis Willey and Francis Willey II is probably the result of misinterpretation of the paper labels that used to be attached to the reverse of all three. They just referred to the fact that in the 19th century the portraits were in the possesion of Frances Willey and should not have been understood as the identification of the sitters.
Current Accession Number YORAG : 1387
Inscription front ur Ph. Mercier fecit 1741
Subject portrait (lady of Willey Family)
Measurements 76.5 x 63.5 cm
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Bequeathed by Miss C.M. Henderson 1982.
Provenance By descent in the Willey family; Rev. Jocelyn Willey of Camblesforth Hall, Yorkshire; his wife, Frances Willey (née Carus-Wilson); by descent in the Carus-Wilson family to Miss C. M. Henderson.
Publications Ingamells, J. and Raines, R.,A Catalogue of the Paintings, Drawings and Etchings of Philip Mercier', Walpole Society, 46, 1976-1978, cat. 97, p. 33; Oil Paintings in Public Ownership. North Yorkshire, London, 2006, p. 310 as Mrs Francis Willey.
Notes Philippe Mercier was born in Berlin of French extraction; he travelled in Italy and France before arriving in London probably in 1715 or 1716. He was familiar with work of Antoine Watteau, and is sometimes described as his follower.
Rights Owner York Museums Trust (York Art Gallery)
Author Dr Magdalena Łanuszka



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