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 Zoffany, Johann (German painter, 1733-1810, active in England) , David Garrick as Lord Chalkstone, Ellis Ackman as Bowman and Astley Bransby as Aesp in a Scene from Garrick

Core Record

Title David Garrick as Lord Chalkstone, Ellis Ackman as Bowman and Astley Bransby as Aesp in a Scene from Garrick's 'Lethe'
Collection Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Artist Zoffany, Johann (German painter, 1733-1810, active in England)
Date 1766
Description Lethe was David Garrick's first essay in dramatic writing. The play relates how Proserpine begged from Pluto the favour that humans might once a year be allowed to drink the waters of forgetfulness of the river Lethe. Aesop was to judge those fit to receive them. It remained a stock piece in Garrick's repertoire. As with 1948P39, its companion, the cast depicted were in the 1766 revival. The picture illustrates the following lines: 'Bowman: Does your Lordship propose a wager as proof the goodness of your head?'
Current Accession Number 1948P43
Former Accession Number P.43'48
Subject portrait (Garrick, David' Ackman, Ellis;Bransby, Astley); literature (Garrick's Lethe)
Measurements 101.4 x 126.5 cm cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Purchased from Tooth, Arthur & Sons Ltd with the aid of the National Art-Collections Fund 1948.
Provenance Robert Alexander, Edinburgh; Robert Alexander sale, Christie's, 31 March 1775, lot 67, bought by in; Christie's sale, 6 March 1776, lot 76, bought by Sir George Beaumont; George Beaumont sale, Sotheby's, 30 June 1948, lot 52.
Principal Exhibitions British Institution, London, 1814, cat. no. 120; National Portraits, South Kensington, 1868, cat. no. 774 as Bransby and Aickin in 'Lethe'; National Portraits, Grosvenor Gallery, London, 1888, cat. no. 126 as Garrick and King in 'Lethe'; Recent Acquisitions, Arthur Tooth & Sons, Nov - Dec 1948, cat. no. 11; Sir George Beaumont and his Circle, Leicester Museum and Art Gallery, 1953, cat. no. 83; Age of Rococo, Munich, 1958; Zoffany, Arts Council, 1960, cat. no. 16; All The World's a Stage, Sydney Opera House, 1973; Theatre Mundi: All the World's a Stage, Hayward Gallery, London, 1975; Theatrum Mundi: All the World's a Stage, Haus Der Kunst, Munich, 2003, cat. no. 173.
Publications Manners, V. and C. G. Williamson, John Zoffany. His life and works, London, 1920, p. 313; Sewter, A. C., 'Four English Illustrative Pictures' ,Burlington Magazine, vol. 74, 1939, p. 127; Illustrations, 1952, p. 50; The Artist and the Theatre, Mander, R. and Mitcheson, J., 1955, pp. 13 - 19; Schoneberger, A., and Soehner, H., Die Welt des Rokoko, 1959, p. 170; Catalogue of Paintings in Birmingham City Museum and Art Gallery, 1960; Foreign Paintings in Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, A Summary Catalogue, 1983, p.104.
Notes A solo painting of Mr. Garrick in the character of Lord Chalkstone was exhibited at the Society of Artists in 1766, no. 198. Two versions of this study are recorded: one which belonged to Garrick (probably exhibited in 1766) and was formerly in the collection of William Randolph Hearst. A version is at the Garrick Club (no. 124). Other versions of this painting are in the Somerset Maugham Collection (presented to the National Theatre) and in the possession of the National Magazine Company.
Rights Owner Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Author Dr Patricia Smyth



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