Completed Continental European after 1800, Continental European before 1800 23 Can anyone tell us more about this painting?

Topic: Subject or sitter

Shropshire Museums has been contacted with details of another contemporary version of this painting. We suspect they are both copies made of a popular 'Old Master' but does anyone know the artist and title of the original? There is a Windsor and Newton stamp on the canvas and the corner of an old label but nothing else. We have very little provenance for it - Bequeathed by Mr Denton 1965.

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Completed, Outcome

This discussion is now closed. The title has been updated from ‘Portrait of an Unidentified Boy with a Straw Hat’ to ‘Italian Boy with a Straw Hat’. ‘Unknown artist’ has been replaced by ‘British School (copy after an Italian or German original)’.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the discussion. To anyone viewing this discussion for the first time, please see below for all the comments that led to this conclusion.


Jacinto Regalado,

The boy looks Italian, wearing country or peasant clothes, and what may be a religious medal.

Jacinto Regalado,

Is it possible to get a high-resolution close-up of the lower right corner? Perhaps it is nothing, but there might be a faint signature there.

Jacinto Regalado,

The necklace no doubt holds a Catholic religious medal, very commonly worn by children, possibly a St Christopher medal.

Jacinto Regalado,

This sort of genre picture, quite possibly meant for a non-Italian market, was not intended as a portrait of a specific person but as a type, so the title need not use the words "portrait" or "unidentified." Something like "Italian Boy with Straw Hat" is more apt.

As the Collection has noted the comments and suggestions and said they will add the information provided to the database record, would this not be the moment for closing this submission, with a Group Leader recommendation?

Marcie Doran,

Is it possible to improve the information about the donor? Was he Arthur Ridgway Denton who passed away on December 24, 1964, at The Hollies, 90 Haygate Road, Wellington, Shropshire? His birth was registered at St. George, Hanover Square, London, in Q2 1881.

Mr. Denton was a retired bank official according to the London Gazette of January 15, 1965.

He was a member of the British Numismatic Society.

Marcie Doran,

According to Wikipedia, numismatics “is the study or collection of currency, including coins, tokens, paper money, medals and related objects." Perhaps this painting was selected by Mr. Denton because of the medal worn by the boy.

A painting by Salvatore Postiglione ( that clearly copies the work mentioned by Andrew – ‘Neopolitan Fisher Boy’ by Gustav Karl Ludwig Richter – shows the medal more clearly.

Is this work “Italian School” or does the Winsor & Newton stamp mean that it is "British school"?

Jacob Simon,

Art UK is focussed on public collections. It is not a vehicle for providing information on paintings in private collections as I think you will find in its guidelines

Good afternoon Stace. There's more information here.

Art UK will adjust the homepage text to clarify what is meant by a 'public collection' in this context. Collections must be represented on our website and they must be accessible to the general public, whether through advertised opening hours or by appointment.

Jacob Simon,

To answer Marcie's question of 30/03/2022 the Winsor & Newton stamp likely means that the painting is a British copy of an Italian work.

As David Saywell asked on 29/03/2022 would this not be the moment for closing this submission, with a Group Leader recommendation?

I suggest that Art UK approaches the relevant group leader concerning this work.

Jacinto Regalado,

I would suggest a descriptive and incontestable title like "Boy with a Straw Hat" and listing this as by or after Italian School. Even if it is a copy, which is entirely possible, I doubt the original is earlier than 19th century.

Jacob Simon,

At the outset of this discussion the collection posted two images of the reverse, a canvas stamp and a fragmentary stretcher label. I commented on the Winsor & Newton canvas stamp at the time (16/04/2021). The label, I now observe, is almost certainly that of Mrs Elizabeth Norton's Birmingham business active 1866-1919. See the downloadable guide, part 12 England, under Research: Artists suppliers, on the National Portait Gallery website.

I recommend that the Shrewsbury Museum’s painting should be entitled Italian Boy with a Straw Hat by an unknown 19th-century British artist copied after an unknown Italian or German artist.

Thanks to Jacob Simon’s research on Winsor & Newton canvas stamps (see post 16/04/2021) and the artist supplier Elizabeth Norton in Birmingham (see post 31/05/2023) as tabulated on the NPG website at and the anonymous British artist probably painted the canvas sometime between 1888 and 1905 and may have come from Birmingham or the West Midlands.

As Marcie Doran’s post (31/05/2023) confirms it was donated by Arthur Ridgway Denton (26 April 1881 – 24 December 1964) a retired London bank official of Wellington, Shropshire.