4/21/2024, 20:43:14
Charming Portrait of the Young Campbell Sisters Painted by Robert Thorburn Signed & Dated 1834 (1 of 10)
The Three MusCATeers
Flag of United KingdomKent, UK
I am a small private dealer with a love for small decorative items predominantly from the Georgian and Victorian periods each with their own beauty. A beauty that is not always expected. Below are some of my favourite finds and past sales from Etsy where I have been trading for the last 7 years.
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Charming Portrait of the Young Campbell Sisters Painted by Robert Thorburn Signed & Dated 1834

REF: LA479874
Certified DealerApproved listing
Certified DealerApproved listing
This picture is both a pencil sketch and a watercolour and is signed at the bottom left R. Thorburn and dated 1834. The signature is that I believe of a young Robert Thorburn who was born in 1818, and went on to become a famous Miniature Portrait Artist and a favourite of Queen Victoria. But this picture was painted long before that as a piece of old verso on the back of the frame fells us... 'The smallest girl is Francis Campbell who married Admirable (The Honourable) Foley'. The two sisters are the children of Sir George Campbell and Margaret Christie of Eden Wood, Fifeshire in Scotland. Frances (which I believe is the correct spelling unlike the verso) at the time of the painting would have been only 3 years of age as I believe she was born in 1831. I failed to find out a lot about the two Sisters especially the older one Margaret, but what I did come across which for me breathed so much life into the two sisters was an article in The Guardian Newspaper dated 1st September 1850 on the marriage of Frances to Admirable Foley, they referred to Frances as young and lovely bride with a robe of rich white glace silk with a wreath and garniture of organge blossoms, but it is the bit about the dejeuner after the wedding I loved as it was given by Mrs Jones sister of the bride with a much admired Wedding Cake which was 4 foot in height! Indeed Margaret married David Jones of Pentglas in 1845. It is lovely that at the time of this painting all three young protagonists were most likely unaware of what would lay ahead of them in the future. It is possible that Robert Thorburn was at the Academy in Edinburgh, although he was the son of a Tradesman he obviously showed great talent and a kindly Lady Neighbour paid for him at the age of 15 to go to The Academy in Edinburgh where he excelled, after which he moved to London and became acquainted with Queen Victoria. Indeed Robert Thorburn would only have been 16 years old when he painted this picture. And I think the picture is representative of his age at the time of drawing it. In my research I came across a picture called 'The Hay Girls Next To a Grand Piano' painted in a very similar style especially with the doll like portrayal of the children and this was dated 1835. This picture is large approx 29cm in height and 21.5cm in width. It sits in what I think could be its original gold/bronze painted wooden frame which as you can see is missing one of the wooden swirls which sits on the corners. Although I think the frame could be the original one as it proportions work perfectly with the picture, it has certainly been reframed in the recent past with the label of the framers on the back as well as that fragment of the original verso. The mount looks to be covered in an ivory coloured shot silk which I am pretty certain was done as the time of the reframing.
48 cm
40 cm
2.5 cm
The Three MusCATeers has clarified that the Charming Portrait of the Young Campbell Sisters Painted by Robert Thorburn Signed & Dated 1834 (LA479874) is genuinely of the period declared with the date/period of manufacture being 1834
The Painting is in good condition with the colours still strong and the image clear. I do think the paper has darkened with age. The frame as I have mentioned is missing one of its wooden swirls, which I will leave for its new owner to decide whether to restore or otherwise . All the other swirls do feel secure. There are small much small chips to the frame mainly to the inner edge. Sadly due to the large size of the Painting I am unable to offer free shipping.
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This Charming Portrait of the Young Campbell Sisters Painted by Robert Thorburn Signed & Dated 1834 is located in Kent, United Kingdom

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