Portrait of Two Young Girls and Their Spaniel c.1750; Circle of Philip Mercier.
Portrait of Two Young Girls and Their Spaniel c.1750; Circle of Philip Mercier.
Portrait of Two Young Girls and Their Spaniel c.1750; Circle of Philip Mercier.
Portrait of Two Young Girls and Their Spaniel c.1750; Circle of Philip Mercier.
Portrait of Two Young Girls and Their Spaniel c.1750; Circle of Philip Mercier.
Portrait of Two Young Girls and Their Spaniel c.1750; Circle of Philip Mercier.
Portrait of Two Young Girls and Their Spaniel c.1750; Circle of Philip Mercier.
Portrait of Two Young Girls and Their Spaniel c.1750; Circle of Philip Mercier.

Portrait of Two Young Girls and Their Spaniel c.1750; Circle of Philip Mercier.

c. 1750 England

Offered by Roy Precious - Antiques & Fine Art

£7,950 gbp
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Oil on canvas, bears signature C W Peale and dated mid left.

The two children pet their dog whilst in the background is a bust of the goddess Flora; Flora is the Roman Goddess of flowering plants, especially those that bear fruit. Spring, of course, is her season with its attendant attributes of future fertility and blossoming...all appropriate for two children in the springtime of their lives.

PHILIP MERCIER (also known as Philippe Mercier; 1689 in Berlin – 18 July 1760 in London) was a French painter and etcher, who lived principally and was active in England. He was born in Berlin of French extraction, the son of a Huguenot tapestry-worker. He studied painting at the Akademie der Wissenschaften of Berlin and later under Antoine Pesne, who had arrived in Berlin in 1710. Later, he travelled in Italy and France before arriving in London—"recommended by the Court at Hannover"—probably in 1716. He married in London in 1719 and lived in Leicester Fields.

He was appointed Principal Painter and librarian to the Prince and Princess of Wales at their independent establishment in Leicester Fields, and while he was in favour he painted various portraits of the royals, and no doubt many of the nobility and gentry. Of the royal portraits, those of the Prince of Wales and of his three sisters, painted in 1728, were all engraved in mezzotint by Jean Pierre Simon, and that of the three elder children of the Prince of Wales by John Faber Junior in 1744.
Mercier introduced much of the vivacity and the colouring of the French rococo into British portraiture at this date. He was an admirer of the works of Watteau, and paintings such as The Schutz Family, 1725 (London, Tate Gallery) and Frederick Prince of Wales and his Sisters 1733 (example National Portrait Gallery) show the burgeoning rococo taste that can also be detected in the near-contemporary works of Francis Hayman.

Mercier became involved in a scandal of sorts and he lost favour. He left London around 1740 and settled in York, where he practiced portrait painting for over ten years, before returning to London in 1751. In 1752, Mercier went to Portugal at the request of several English merchants. He did not long remain there, however, but came back to London, where he died in 1760.

There is a later applied signature of the American artist Charles Willson Peale but it is not by him.

Stair Galleries (Auctioneers), New York
where bought by Mallett of London and New York in 2008.
Dimensions
Height 24.75 inch (62.86 cm)
Width 30.10 inch (76.45 cm)
External Height 31.00 inch (78.74 cm)
External Width 36.50 inch (92.71 cm)
Stock Code
8885
Roy Precious - Antiques & Fine Art

Roy Precious - Antiques & Fine Art
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