Kenton Couse (1721-1790) architect

  • About the work
    Location
    Country: UK
    City: London
    Place: Downing Street

    Architect Kenton Couse is a seated at a table, upon which is an architectural drawing. He has dividers in his right hand and points to a wing of the building in the plan with his left hand, presumably drawing our attention to a part of the building he designed. It has been suggested that the property depicted is Buckingham House (the royal residence), where he may have constructed the Prince of Wales's apartments, on the north side.

  • About the artist
    Portrait painter Mason Chamberlin was born in the City of London and baptised in Bishopsgate in 1722. By 1737, year he was apprenticed to a freeman of the Salters’ Company, he was an orphan. Little is known of his artistic training, but he was reportedly a pupil of Francis Hayman. Chamberlin’s earliest signed work of 1754 or before is a small oil-on-copper portrait of novelist Samuel Richardson. He exhibited at the Society of Artists of from 1760 and, although best-known for his portraits, won the Society’s second premium of 50 guineas for a history painting in 1764. He was a founding member of the Royal Academy of Arts in 1768, exhibiting at the Academy from 1769 to 1786. He died in Holborn, London, in January 1787 at about the age of 65.
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  • Details
    Title
    Kenton Couse (1721-1790) architect
    Date
    Medium
    Oil on canvas
    Dimensions
    height: 122.00 cm, width: 99.00 cm
    Acquisition
    Purchased from Colnaghi's, February 1977
    Inscription
    On three separate labels, pasted together (top left of verso of frame): By direction of the Executors of the late EARL OF ASHBURNHAM, / BARKING HALL, / 427 Ditto Gentleman in blue velvet coat and wig. / John Crowley 49 by 40 / PICTURES. / The Portraits are of members of the Crowley and other / Families, who owned the Estate in the XVII. and / XVIII. Centuries. The Names given are believed / to be correct. [Note: this inscription relates to a different portrait and indicates that the frame has been reused.]
    Provenance
    With auctioneer Stanley W. Smith of Cambridge; by whom sold through Christie's, London, on 6 January 1883 (Lot 66), as Sir W. Beechey, 'Portrait of Renilly' [Renilly crossed through and catalogue annotated to read 'Portrait of Williey Revelley', bought in; 'Property of a Lady'; by whom sold through Christie's, London, 'Important English Pictures' sale, on 19 November 1976 (Lot 42), as Mason Chamberlain, 'Portrait of a Man, Probably Kenton Couse', for £825; from which sale purchased by Colnaghi, London; from whom purchased by the Department of the Environment on 18 March 1977
    GAC number
    12790