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Title Charlton House from the West
Collection English Heritage (Kenwood House)
Artist Attributed to Cort, Hendrik Frans de (Flemish painter, 1742-1810)
Date Earliest about 1790
Date Latest about 1810
Description Hendrik Frans de Cort (1742-1810) was born and studied in Antwerp before moving to Paris where he entered the Academy in 1779 and later became painter to the Prince de Condé. In 1790 he settled in London and exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy and British Institution until 1806, here he established a successful practice painting landscapes, county houses, castles and cathedrals in an Italianate idiom indebted to the style of Gaspar Dughet for wealthy patrons. In his view of Charlton Park, de Cort represents the oldest part of the Tudor period property, which is seen from the north-west. Notably the west front of the house is shown, which was built by Catherine Knevet, Countess of Suffolk with the inheritance she received at her father's death in 1598. At the time her husband, Thomas Howard, 1st Earl of Suffolk, was building Audley End House in Essex, the two houses are similar in style and aspect and have been attributed to the architect Bernard Jannsen. The north and east fronts of Charlton were not added until 1772-76, part of the new north front is visible to the left of de Cort's painting. Painted on a specially prepared mahogany panel, typical of de Cort's method, the technique is also consistent with his style which the painter Joseph Farington described as follows: 'his ground prepared light, this to draw his outline with black lead pencil, then to pass Oil over it, and on that tint to glaze his shadows and embody his lights'. Some traces of under drawing and pentimenti are visible in this work.
Current Accession Number 88019151
Former Accession Number 1; 353
Subject landscape (Charlton House )
Measurements 85.8 x 112.1 cm cm (estimate)
Material oil on panel (hardwood {mahogany})
Acquisition Details Given to the Nation by the Honourable Mrs Grenville Howard on the request of her mother-in-law Margaret Hyde, 19th Countess of Suffolk 1974.
Provenance Presumably commissioned by John, 15th Earl of Suffolk; then by descent.
Publications Garlick, K. and MacIntyre, A. (eds.), The Diary of Joseph Farington, vol. 2, 1978, p. 570 (entry for 4 June 1796 on de Cort's technique); Harris, J., The Artist and the Country House, 1979. pp. 333, 339, pl. 383; Jacob, J., The Suffolk Collection: Catalogue of Paintings, London, 1974, no. 1 (as Unknown Artist, late eighteenth or early nineteenth Century).
Notes The attribution to de Cort is supported not only by his idiosyncratic use of mahogany panels as support, as in this case, but also through favourable comparison to his other landscape paintings, particularly his masterpiece a view of Castle Howard, Yorkshire.
Rights Owner © English Heritage Photo Library
Author Francesco Nevola



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