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Gainsborough painting bought for £2,600 can be auctioned for £50,000

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One of the earliest known works by 18th-century painter Thomas Gainsborough, originally mis-distributed and purchased for £2,600 by a retired company director, will be auctioned with an estimated pre-sale is £30,000 to £50,000.

The ritish artist Gainsborough (1727-88) is said to have painted a portrait of a woman, a member of the Seton family, at the age of 16.

It will be painted while he is in Hatton Gardens in London, after moving there from Suffolk.

The artwork was purchased by its current owner, Robert Mulraine, at auction in 2016 for £2,600 before it was verified to have been created by a young Gainsborough.

At the time, Mr Mulraine said he joined the search for misrepresentations online thanks to the art restorer’s son, James.

He said he had seen the portrait, which at the time was believed to be a circular figure of painter Arthur Devis, and believed it could be a Gainsborough.

After extensive research, the work was identified by Gainsborough as Gainsborough’s and has since been included in art historian Hugh Belsey’s 2019 publication, the raisonne catalog, as Portrait of a Young Woman wearing a blue dress.

Mr Belsey, authority on Gainsborough, said: “Only in recent years have the earliest portraits of Thomas Gainsborough been identified.

“The artist’s keen observation and his extraordinary ability to paint with canvas are remarkable features and this small portrait of a young woman from the Seton family is one of the earliest. by Gainsborough.

“The exact identity of the babysitter could not be determined…she is more likely to live in London than the artist’s hometown of Suffolk.”

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In his authoritative catalog, Thomas Gainsborough: The Portraits, Fancy Pictures And Copies After Old Masters, Mr. Belsey lists only two earlier portraits.

The first is a miniature portrait of a young girl and the second, a self-portrait believed to have been painted by Gainsborough as a teenager, was sold by the Cheffins auction house in Cambridge last year for a price huge £90,000.

Nicolas Martineau, of Cheffins – where the artwork will be sold, said: “This latest and exciting discovery presents a deeper insight into Gainsborough’s early career, helping us to fully appreciate it. his extraordinary ability from an early age.”

The portrait will be part of The Fine Sale at Cheffins on March 23.

https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/gainsborough-painting-bought-for-2600-could-sell-at-auction-for-50000-41428968.html Gainsborough painting bought for £2,600 can be auctioned for £50,000

Fry Electronics Team

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