Portrait of Emily Adolphus

Portrait of Emily Adolphus



John Downman, A.R.A. (1750-1824)
Portrait of Emily Adolphus aged eleven

Watercolour and coloured chalks heightened with white, circular
22.8cm., 9 inches diameter

Emily Adolphus was the daughter of John Adolphus (1768-1845), the barrister and writer. Her book `Recollections of the Public Career and Private Life of the late John Adolphus, the eminent Barrister and Historian, with extracts from his diaries, by his daughter, Emily Henderson' was published in 1871.

Iolo Williams describes Downman as `the most notable portraitist of the late eighteenth century' (Iolo Williams,
Early English Watercolours, 1952, p.207). He was born in Wales, the son of an attorney and came to London to study under Benjamin West and at the Royal Academy. From 1771 to 1775, he was in Italy with Joseph Wright of Derby. On his return, he specialised in portrait drawings executed in watercolour combined with black chalk and stump to create a soft velvety effect. He exhibited 333 pictures at the Royal Academy from 1769 until 1819

With Morton Morris and Co., London;
The Estate of Mrs T. Conway