Paintings not listed in the catalogue or in the Le Schonix listing of those displayed at King John's House but known to have been owned by Pitt-Rivers during his lifetime

Nicolas Lancret 'Le Duo' sold at Sotheby's 2009

1. A Nicolas Lancret painting, thought by Pitt-Rivers when he owned it to be owned by Watteau,  is now in other hands. The painting is listed in a catalogue owned by the Pitt-Rivers family of the art collection in 1900. This painting was sold again for 158,500 USD at Sotheby's New York on 29 January 2009 'Old Master Paintings ...' sale, lot 68. Property from a private collection Nicolas Lancret "Le Duo", a young man playing a flute and a young woman singing in a landscape, oil on canvas 19 3/4 by 16 1/2 in, 50.3 by 41.9 cm

Provenance: Possibly M. Auguste sale, Paris, Lemaître, May 28, 1850, lot 33; Sir William Wellesley Knighton, 2nd Bt., London and Blendworth Lodge, Hampshire; His deceased sale, London, Christie's, May 23, 1885, lot 461 (as by Watteau); M. Pitt-Rivers, London; With Wildenstein, Paris, 1928 (according to WITT library mount); Emil J. Stehli, New York, by 1933; Thence by descent to Henry E. Stehli and Lily Stehli Bonner, New York; Sold by their order, New York, Parke-Bernet, November 30, 1950, lot 19, for $9,000 to M. Goulandis. Exhibited: Chicago, Art Institute of Chicago, A Century of Progress, International Loan Exhibition of Fine Arts, 1933, no. 218; New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Exhibition of French Painting and Sculpture of the XVIII Century, 1935-6, reproduced pl. 15. Possibly G. Wildenstein, Lancret, Paris 1924, p. 79, cat. no 120; E. Singleton, Old world masters in new world collections, 1929, p. 294; W.R. Valentiner, Das unbekannte Meisterwerke in öffentlichen und privaten Sammlungen, Berlin 1930, vol. I, cat. no. 79, reproduced. We are grateful to Mary Tavener Holmes who, based on firsthand inspection, has confirmed this painting to be by Lancret and datable to circa 1730. By the 1730s Lancret had moved out of Antoine Watteau's stylistic orbit and had established a distinctive style of his own. The faces of his figures had become less precious and more robust and his use of color more vivid.1 During this period, Lancret produced some of his finest works, such as La Camargo Dancing (Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art). The subject of a musical concert was one he returned to often and the Wildenstein catalogue of his works (see Literature) lists numerous paintings depicting figures making music, most of them in outdoor settings. The composition of the two figures in the present work is similar in pose to two figures at the left-hand side of Lancret's Outdoor Concert with the Beautiful Greek and the Amorous Turk of circa 1728.2 In that painting, the figures are part of a larger group of musicians providing the accompaniment for two dancing figures at the right side of the composition. Here Lancret has made the flute player and young woman singing the central focus in this charming and intimate composition.

A note on the Provenance: This painting once belonged to Sir William Wellesley Knighton of Blendworth Lodge, Hampshire whose sizeable collection was sold following his death in 1885. The collection is mentioned by Waagen who, though he himself did not visit the house and see the collection, knew of its existence and reported it to include between 80 to 100 paintings including Old Master and English School paintings, as well as drawings and engravings.3 Sir William Wellesley Knighton inherited many of them from his father, Sir William Knighton, 1st Bt. (1776-1836), a physician and courtier who became Private Secretary to King George IV and Keeper of the Privy Purse. The elder Knighton, an avid collector, was a friend of Sir Thomas Lawrence and patron of Sir David Wilkie, both of whom painted his portrait.
In the mid-20th century, "Le Duo" was in the collection of Emil J. Stehli (1868-1945) in New York who was the president of Stehli & Co., a silk manufacturing firm started by his great-grandfather in Switzerland. His collection included works by other French 18th Century masters such as Boucher, Pater, Watteau, Nattier, Greuze and Vigée-Lebrun.
It has been suggested to us that there is an addition of approximately four inches to the top of the composition.
1. See M.T. Holmes, Nicolas Lancret 1690-1743, exhibition catalogue, New York 1991, pp. 27-8.
2. Ibid., p. 65, reproduced plate 8.

3. See Dr. Waagen, Treasures of Art in Great Britain,Vol. IV, London 1857, pp. 373-74.

Bastiani, Madonna and Child, as shown in 1956 by Sothebys

2. A picture by Bellini was seen in December 1927 by representatives of the Duveen Brothers who commented 'Bellini. "Madonna and Child' about 28" x 20" Painted when master was strongly influenced by Mantegna - composition delightful and very monumental, Child is dressed, and sits on Madonna's knee, supported by her hands, faces lack expression, especially Madonna's eyes. Trying to get photograph to send to Mr Berenson. Both like picture very much'. Our thanks to Anne Halpern for providing a copy of this document dated 16 December 1927 following a visit to "Rushmoor, near Salisbury" [sic]. However, the description given above matches the image shown here clearly by Bastiani. The image described in the art catalogue and other references as being the Holy Family by Bellini is a different painting showing four adults and the Christ figure.

This is described in the Pitt-Rivers family art catalogue as 'Madonna and Child, Venetian School 1427-1516' and on its caption as 'Madonna and Child Venetian School BASTIANI at Rushmore PITT-RIVERS MUSEUM'.  It is therefore the Madonna and Child later attributed to Lazzaro Bastiani (circa 1430-1512) and sold by Sotheby's on July 4 1956 Lot 117 page 19 of the sale catalogue, 'The property of Captain G. Pitt Rivers The Manor House, Hinton St Mary, Dorset Lazzaro Bastiani 117 The Madonna and Child, half-length under baldachin, behind a parapet; landscape background 33in. by 25in. *See: D. von Hadeln, Bellini's Madonna del Baldachino, Burlington Magazine, December 1928, p. 270 ff., repr. in colour (as Bellini; the owner wrongly given as P. M. Turner.) *See: E. Sandberg-Vavalá Lazzaro Bastiani's Madonnas, Burlington Magazine, Sept 1931, p. 124 ff., pl. IId'. Note that there is quite a lot of additional detail about this painting in these sources. It is possible that the painting might match Add.9455vol2_p332 /1 or Add.9455vol2_p138 /5 but there is insufficient data to confirm these suppositions. The painting by Bastiani was sold in July 1956 to Burkell for £2800. The current location of this painting is unknown.

Agasse: 2 horses Photo by Sothebys 2012.

3. Stubbs/ Agasse Two horses and a greyhound in a landscape

This painting will be/has been sold on 26 January 2012 at Sotheby's New York 'Important Old Masters Paintings and Sculpture Sale Lot 76 described as 'Jacques Laurent Agasse (Geneva 1767 - 1849 London Two Horses and a greyhound in a landscape oil on canvas 24 5/8 by 26 1/8 in 62.5 x 67 cm'. The provenance is described as 'George Pitt, 2nd Lord Rivers Stratfield Saye; H.W. Arthurton; his sale London Sotheby's 6 July 1949 lot 14 There purchased by Hausamann, Zurich.' Exhibited at Tate Gallery 1934, London Whitechapel Art Gallery 'Cricket and Sport Paintings' 1935; Geneva Musée d'Art et d'Histoire; London Tate: ... Agasse 10 November 1988-2 April 1989 cat. no 22. More information on Sotheby's website but this painting was dated to around 1806 by Renée Loche and says 'the setting for this painting is probably the grounds of Stratfield Saye in Hampshire ...'

In the Pitt-Rivers' family art catalogue this painting is described as Description:  Horses belonging to George, 2nd Lord Rivers, by G. Stubbs Date: 1724-1806' and an added note suggested that this was painting had been sold, given that it is in the family catalogue it must have been sold after Pitt-Rivers' death in 1900, possibly by his grandson George who disposed of a number of paintings in the 1920s after inheriting the estate.

4. Frederick Beaumont's portrait of Mrs Groves

Mrs Walter Grove

Mrs Grove was Pitt-Rivers' daughter Agnes who married Walter John Grove. The artist is Frederick Samuel Beaumont (1861-1950) who painted several members of the Pitt-Rivers family and seems to have known Pitt-Rivers well. He lived at least part of the time at Witchampton in Wimborne though he also had a studio in London at his father-in-law’s house at 4 Douro Place (his wife was Clare L. Beaumont, his father-in-law was Augustus John Adderley). Find out a little more about him here.

This picture is known to have existed because it is listed in a letter to Pitt-Rivers dated 2 September 1891:

L693 Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum Pitt-Rivers papers

4 Douro Place

Kensington Cr.
Sept 2/91

Dear General Pitt Rivers

The portrait of Mrs Grove is so nearly finished that in a couple of days it will be ready for you to see at your convenience.

The frame is here & seems to me a very good one.

I should be glad to know if you are coming to Town shortly as I would like to show the picture to you myself. But I am anxious to get to work in the country and if you are not likely to be in Town soon I will with your permission leave the portrait where it is - so that you could see it whenever it suited you to call

Believe me to be
Yours very truly
Fred S Beaumont *

There are follow up letters:


[Ans'd by telegram Sep. 22]

4 Douro Place
Kensington W
Sept 20 '91

Dear General Pitt Rivers

As I have finished my work in London I write to let you know that I leave Town on Tuesday Evening next - but that my house & studio will be left in charge of a servant who will have instructions to let you in to see Mrs Groves portrait which remains in my studio - should you call.

Perhaps you would like the picture sent direct to Rushmore in which case - if you will send me a line my frame maker shall despatch it.

Letters will be immediately forwarded to me from here after I leave.

I am sorry not to have had the pleasure of seeing you here & of having your opinion of the portrait - which I trust may be favourable.

Believe me to be
yours very truly
Fred S. Beaumont



4 Douro Place
Kensington W
Sept 22nd / 91

Dear General Pitt Rivers

I have received your telegram & have instructed the frame-maker - Ellis - 14 Queens Rd Bayswater - to pack the picture & start it to you as soon as possible and I have told him to write you exactly when you may expect the picture.

Hoping you will receive it safely

Believe me to be
Yours very truly
Fred S. Beaumont


[Beaumont Cheque £150 sent]

c/o Mrs Harnon
Channel Islands
Oct 8 / 91

Dear General Pitt Rivers

Your kind letter has only reached me today owing to a gale delaying the mails. It gratified me much that on the whole Mrs Groves picture gives you such satisfaction. Your criticisms are so much in accordance with my own intentions in the picture that I think & hope I may be able to please you in the various points also, that you speak of when I see it afresh - before it goes into the Academy where I think you said you would allow me to send it.

You will see by my address that I have come over to the Channel Islands where I had the intention of staying till after Xmas to avoid the dull weather which last year for days together put a stop to my work.

I should very much like to do your daughter Mrs Scott & her little girl - and should be very unwilling to lose the chance of it by putting it off - but really these three months in London - the light is so poor at its best and so bad at its worst that as I learnt to my cost last year, it is not fair to any sitter or to myself to try to paint a portrait then. It only wastes their time & mine & I cannot do my best work.

If you wish the picture to be done for next years Academy there would be time if I began by the middle of January or even the end when the light should begin to improve.

Can you persuade your daughter to let me do it then when I should have a fair chance of doing her justice & of pleasing you.

With regard to price - I could not afford to do the figures for the same price as the one and I should have to ask 200 pounds.

We - my wife & I - have had lovely weather here with summer sunshine, excepting the last two days and I am making studies of drapery and one or two figure pictures with sea & rocks as I am anxious to keep at any rate part of each year for picture painting - and not stick to portrait work only - as I think each must help the other. I should like to paint another portrait for you after my writers study & work and see whether you do not think I have got on in many ways.

I should be much obliged if you would send the cheque to me here at above address.

I dont know whether you would prefer paying for the frame direct to Ellis the framemaker or in one cheque with mine. The price is £21 -

Again thanking you for your most kind letter. Believe me to be

very truly yours

Fred S. Beaumont

*Frederick Samuel Beaumont R.I. (1861-after 1922), I can find little else about him

prm logo