An absolutely charming and well painted portrait of Lady Clementina Villiers, done by George Lethbridge Saunders on natural wafer. Clementina, with blue eyes and golden-brown sausage curls, is posed in a classic white gown with a red shawl, holding a dove in her lap. The background features a blue sky and a tree.
Condition is excellent, with strong colors and no cracks, chips, paint loss, bowing, or restoration. The wood frame is also in excellent condition. Sight size is 3 1/2" by 2 7/8", with a framed size of 6 1/4" by 5 1/4".
--- George Lethbridge Saunders
Two paintings were done by Saunders, and one given to each of his sisters, Mrs. Mary Saunders Moore and Anne Saunders
Their niece, Lois Saunders
Her niece and great-niece of the artist, Mrs. William Hawke Thomson (Dorothy Saunders) (formerly Mrs. William A. Lynch), Baltimore (died 1971)
Willed to her first cousin once removed, David Saunders, Seattle, Washington.
NOTES:1. Identification of the artist and sitter is based on data and images in the Frick Art Reference Library Photo Archive.
2. George Lethbridge Saunders (1807-1863) was a renowned painter of portraits and miniatures in England, exhibiting at the Royal Academy of Arts from 1829 to 1839 and the Free Society of British Artists from 1851 to 1853. In 1840 he moved to the United States and exhibited his work at the Apollo Association in New York City and the Artists' Fund Society in Philadelphia from 1840 to 1843. He also worked in Boston, Baltimore, Richmond, Savannah, Columbia and Charleston.
Saunders was commissioned by many wealthy and famous people to do their portraits. Among these were Confederate President Jefferson Davis (exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.), composer Johann Baptist Cramer and novelist Matthew Gregory Lewis (both in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City), Confederate General Jubal Anderson Early (National Portrait Gallery, London). Other portraits and paintings are in various museums including the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Detroit Institute of Arts.
3. Clementina Villiers, a daughter of Sarah Villiers Countess of Jersey, was a well-known figure, and from a young age portraits were done of her by a number of painters, including Chalon, Robinson, and Saunders (miniature).