Provenance Research

Copy after or follower of Sir William Beechey
Captain Frederick William Beechey, probably mid- to late 19th century
Oil on canvas
30 x 25 in. (76.2 x 63.5 cm)
Bequest of Harry S. and Eva Belle Leyman, 1943.5

Half-length, frontal portrait of a man wearing a military uniform with a wide, high-necked collar and a black bow tie.

Former Attributions:
Sir William Beechey [1753-1839]


Possibly before or ca. 1880:   Possibly English Collection [1]
    Fred L. Engel, New York [2]
By at least 1943:   Harry S. and Eva Belle Leyman, by bequest to
1943-present:   Cincinnati Art Museum

[1] A marking on the back of the painting suggests that the work was in an English collection during the mid-to-late nineteenth century. Stamped deeply into the stretcher is the marking "W. Morrill/Liner". W. J. Morrill, Ltd. began as a small company for relining oil paintings in 1796 in London. Alan Barnes of W. J. Morrill (now located in Dallas, Texas) has identified that this particular marking shows that the painting was relined at one time by the company. The marking was used from 1796 until 1911, when the typical marking changed to "W. J. Morrill". Throughout the past two centuries W. J. Morrill, Ltd. has worked with many paintings by Beechey, many of which came from a vicar, Reverend Wing. The company archives do not have any record of this particular painting; however, the records only go back to the 1880s, suggesting W. J. Morrill, Ltd. may have relined the painting prior to 1880. Although the limited records cannot supply information regarding the identity of the person who had the painting relined, it does place the painting in London most likely before 1880, but at least prior to 1911. See correspondence, December 18, 2001, and January 3, 2002.

[2] Two labels on the back of the painting read: "Sent by Fred L. Engel, 665 Fifth Avenue, New York City".

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