National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of The Death of the Earl of Chatham John Singleton Copley (painter)
American, 1738 - 1815
The Death of the Earl of Chatham, 1779
oil on canvas
overall: 52.7 x 64.2 cm (20 3/4 x 25 1/4 in.) framed: 79.7 x 91.6 x 6.7 cm (31 3/8 x 36 1/16 x 2 5/8 in.)
Gift of Mrs. Gordon Dexter
Not on View
From the Tour: John Singleton Copley
Object 9 of 12


Possibly (Christie, Manson & Woods, London, 23 May 1865, no. 130, bought in).[1] (Henry Graves & Co., London).[2] Susan Greene Amory Dexter [Mrs. Franklin Gordon Dexter, 1840-1924], Boston, the artist's great-granddaughter;[3] her son, Gordon Dexter [1864-1937], Boston;[4] his widow, Isabella Hunnewell Dexter [c. 1871-1968], Boston;[5] gift 1947 to NGA.

[1] Catalogue of a valuable Assemblage of Chiefly Modern Pictures, and Drawings and Engravings and some capital copies from celebrated Italian Pictures: which will be sold by Auction ... on Tuesday, May 23, 1865, 9; Graves 1918, 1:149. According to Christie's records, the consignor was W. Bettle, 195, Bishopsgate, London; Jeremy Rex-Parkes, archivist, letter, 2 August 1991, in NGA curatorial files; the painting was bought in. Jules David Prown, John Singleton Copley 2 vols. (Cambridge, Mass., 1966), 2:438, incorrectly stated that lot 130 was purchased by James Anderdon, who in fact bought his two sketches at the H. Scott Trimmer sale (Christie's, 17 March 1860, lot 31) and the Lyndhurst sale (Christie's, 5 March 1864, lot 70). Those sketches are now owned by the Tate Gallery, London. Frank W. Bayley, A Sketch of the Life and a List of Some of the Works of John Singleton Copley (Boston, 1910), 34, erroneously claimed that the National Gallery's sketch was from the Lyndhurst sale. [2] A printed label of Henry Graves & Co., 6 Pall Mall, London, inscribed with the number 765, is attached to the stretcher. Graves [1806-1892] was a dealer and print publisher in London from 1852; see Fritz Lugt, Les Marques de collections de dessins et d'estampes (Amsterdam, 1921), 195, 561; Supplément (The Hague, 1956), 160. His ownership of the painting is not otherwise documented or dated. He was probably also the buyer of Copley's Baron Graham (1942.4.1) at auction in 1878 in London, a painting he apparently sold to the artist's granddaughter, Martha Babcock Amory. Both Baron Graham and this oil sketch were later owned by her daughter, Susan Greene Amory Dexter. [3] Bayley 1910, 34; Mrs. Dexter's birthdate is in John William Linzee, The Linzee Family of Great Britain and the United States of America (Boston, 1917), 2:781-782; her death date is in "Proceedings of the New England Historic Genealogical Society" (meeting of 1 April, 1925), The New England Historical and Genealogical Register 74 (July, 1925): 325. [4] Dexter is listed in Who Was Who in America, vol. 1, 1897-1942 (Chicago, 1966), 320. [5] Mrs. Dexter died at the age of 97 in New York City; obituary, The New York Times, 16 December 1968, 47.

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