Historical Portraits Picture Archive

Portrait of Charles Goore 1701-83 1769

Joseph Wright of Derby ARA 1734 - 1797

Portrait of Charles Goore 1701-83, Joseph Wright of Derby ARA
Oil on canvas
18th Century
30 x 25 inches 76.2 x 63.5 cm
Benedict Nicolson, Joseph Wright of Derby, Painter of Light, London 1968, Vol.1 (Text), pp.99, 100 (note 1), 200, 221.
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Towards the end of 1768, Wright settled in Liverpool as the guest of the merchant Richard Tate (d. 1787), who was a significant patron of the arts. Wright found himself amongst a mercantile community whose wealth was rooted in ship-owning and slave-trading. This progressive urban-class were keen to be recorded for posterity in portraiture and provided the young artist with lucrative opportunities.

One of these successful merchants was Charles Goore (1701-83), a ship-owner who was trading to Africa in the 1750s and who also had an interest in the Greenland Fisheries. An important civic figure, he was twice Mayor of the city in 1754 and 1768. Other posts that he held were that of Bailiff in 1747, Senior Alderman and Justice of the Peace for both the Borough and County of Liverpool. In 1777 he is recorded in the city register as residing at No. 10 St.Nicholas's Churchyard. He married on 29 July 1728 Margary Holsall.

Charles Goore and his wife sat to Wright in the first full year of the artist's residence in the city. A payment is recorded in Wright1 s 1769 Liverpool Account Book for, Mr. & Mrs. Gore, 21. The price is consistent with the artist's charges for pair of 30 x 25 portraits. In the same year is listed the sitter, Mr. Stannyforth, 15.15. Thomas Staniforth (1735-1803) married in 1760, Elizabeth Goore, the daughter of Charles Goore. This portrait (36 1/4 x 30) is in the collection of the Tate Gallery, London. In it the sitter is depicted at three-quarter length, seated with his arm resting on the back of a chair. Staniforth, native of Darnall in Yorkshire carried on the Goore family business after Charles''s death in 1783. He was also a partner in a wine, rum and brandy firm, and in a firm of bankers in the 1790s.
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