A  Young Man and Lady, believed to be Richard Sterne and his Mother Elizabeth
A  Young Man and Lady, believed to be Richard Sterne and his Mother Elizabeth
A  Young Man and Lady, believed to be Richard Sterne and his Mother Elizabeth

RICHARD GIBSON (1615-1690)

A Young Man and Lady, believed to be Richard Sterne and his Mother Elizabeth

c. 1667 United Kingdom

Offered by Ellison Fine Art

£4,500 gbp
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gouache on vellum, set in period style hexagonal shaped pear wood frames with paper backing

Inscriptions on original backing paper (now lost) described the male sitter as Sterne and the Lady as Eliza. It is thought that the sitters represent Richard Sterne (b. c. 1641) 1st son of Richard Sterne the Archbishop of York, and his mother Elizabeth, daughter of Edward Dickinson of Farnborough Manor.

It is possible that the portraits were commissioned, by Richard Sterne's father the Archbishop of York (1664-83) as a wedding gift,for Richard's wife Mary, whom he married 11 February 1667. Richard Sterne was Judge, prerogative court of York 1673; Justice of the Peace of Ripon 1674-87.

Richard's father, formerly chaplain to Laud, was a devoted supporter of the royalist cause during the Civil Wars, and became archbishop of York after the Restoration. Richard was an active member of the first Exclusion Parliament, he was appointed to the committees for the convocation bill, to inspect the laws against swearing and drunkenness, for security against Popery and to examine abuses in the Post office. The nonconformist antiquary, Thoresby, found him "very good company, (and) not so hot as I feared, being the archbishop's son." Sterne must have been moderately prosperous with £2,300 in East India stock at the Revolution. He was buried in York Minster, 1716, the only member of the family to sit in the Lower House.

Richard Gibson (1615-1690), known as "Dwarf Gibson", was a painter of portrait miniatures and a court dwarf in England during the reigns of Charles I, Oliver Cromwell, Charles II and William and Mary.

Gibson was appointed "Page of the Back Stairs" under Charles I. During the English Civil War Gibson stayed in London with Pembroke, and thus became associated with the Parliamentary faction. By the 1650s Gibson appears to have been closely linked to Charles Dormer, 2nd Earl of Carnarvon, grandson of the Earl of Pembroke. During Cromwell's regime he remained active as a painter at the Protector's court. However, Gibson's patrons in the 1650s are typically Royalists, but generally of the faction that had been supporters of parliament early in the war.

His association with Cromwell did not affect his career under Charles II. Gibson was employed as drawing-master to Princess Mary and Princess Anne, the daughters of Charles' brother James (later King James II). He went with Mary to the Netherlands for her marriage to William of Orange in 1677. He came back to England in 1688 when William and Mary became monarchs after the overthrow of James II.
Earl of Glenesk Sale, Roger Warner Antiques, 28 July 1947, £6
Height 4.00 cm (1.57 inches)
Stock Code
gouache on vellum
Ellison Fine Art

Ellison Fine Art
United Kingdom

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