Historical Portraits Picture Archive

Portrait of a Child with a Cat c.1830 1830c.

Margaret Sarah Carpenter 

Portrait of a Child with a Cat c.1830, Margaret Sarah Carpenter
Oil on Panel
19th Century
20 x 16 inches 50.8 x 40.6 cm
Margaret Carpenter was considered to be the most accomplished woman portrait painter of her time, and was a member of an artistic dynasty: her father was the painter A.R. Geddes, and her children Jane Henrietta and William followed in her career. Her earliest training lay in making copies from the collection of Lord Radnor at Longford Castle. In 1814 she moved to London and very swiftly established herself as a highly fashionable portrait painter, supplying 236 works for public exhibition at the Royal Academy, the British Institute and the Society of British Artists between 1814 and 1866. As this portrait demonstrates, her fluid and accomplished manner was most clearly influenced by the work of Sir Thomas Lawrence, and she finished his portrait of Mrs Brandling. Our portrait is entirely characteristic of her charming portrayals of young children absorbed in their own pleasures.

In 1817 she married William H. Carpenter, Keeper of Prints and Drawings at the British Museum. On his death in 1866 Queen Victoria showed her favour by conferring on her an annual pension of 100.
Philip Mould Ltd, 18-19 Pall Mall, London, SW1Y 5LU.Copyright Philip Mould Ltd.