Today, we look at a piece I picked up some 5 years ago from a small furniture shop which sold the odd vintage item. I bought this portrait because she was very nicely done. An image done with pencil, crayon, and watercolour. I had no idea who she was. Just that I liked the artistry. I now know who she is and possibly who the work is by. Research takes time and luck too for the amateur collector.
This brings me to who she is. Historically, she lived from 1532 to 1560. Her name was #AmyRobsart. She was the first wife of #RobertDudley. Later, Lord Dudley, Earl of Leicester. Lord Dudley was a favourite of Elizabeth I and might if things had been different become ‘king consort’ to Elizabeth I.
Robert was suspected of having his wife, Amy, killed. She was found dead at the bottom of a set of stairs. An inquest was held and found for accidental death but rumors still abounded. Interest in Amy was rekindled in the 19th century when Sir Walter Scott wrote about her in his Waverly novel ‘Kenilworth’.
#SirJohnHayter (1800-1891) established himself as a portrait artist. His father Charles was a miniaturist and his brother George was a portrait artist as well. He was a member of the Royal Academy and was well known by the 1820s. His portrait drawings were done in pencil, chalk, crayon and watercolour with many being turned into engravings.
Above is the fine artwork. I have seen a stipple engraving of the exact portrayal by WH Mote which lends credence to my thinking this may be the original from which it is taken. It is unsigned nor is it dated but I cannot see the verso of the piece. Even so, it is a fine piece, superbly coloured and executed.