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James Clitherow (1766-1841)

1784
30 x 25 in. (76.2 x 63.5 cm)

George Romney
British (Dalton-in-Furness, England, 1734 - 1802, Kendal, England)

Object Type: Painting
Medium and Support: Oil on canvas
Credit Line: George Eastman Collection of the University of Rochester
Accession Number: 1976.24
Location: Currently on view
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Collection: George Eastman Collection

Romney must have been well acquainted with James Clitherow as a young man: he made two portraits of him, as well as a replica, all within a span of a year. Clitherow, who had recently graduated from Oxford at the time this portrait was made, appears thoughtful and composed, demonstrating his erudition by holding a book. Newspaper accounts describe the portrait as having been painted for a price of just over £20.

Romney directs the viewer’s focus by sketching Clitherow’s hands and stock, or neckcloth, only loosely; he concentrates instead on the details of the head, coat, and chair.

[Gallery label text, 2008]

Provenance
By descent from the sitter to Colonel Edward John Stracey-Clitherow (1820-1900), Boston House, Brentford, Middlesex, England; Edward S. Harkness (1874-1940), New York; purchased from him by M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., New York (dealers); purchased from them by George Eastman (1854-1932), Rochester, NY, 1925; bequeathed to the University of Rochester, 1932; transferred to the Gallery in 1976.

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