Completed Portraits: British 19th C 19 Is Thomas Lemming the artist of this portrait?

HSW_HMAG_210
Topic: Artist

I would like to direct your attention to the following research about Thomas Leeming, artist (https://bit.ly/3xPEkMa and https://bit.ly/3b5fvBZ). You may want to compare the research to any physical or other information you may have about the painting.

Patty Macsisak, Entry reviewed by Art UK

Completed, Outcome

This discussion is now closed. In spite of two artists being alluded to it has not been possible to attribute to either artist with any confidence. The sitter’s dates have been added to the Art UK record for this portrait.

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.

18 comments

The Collection has commented: 'There is a possibility that Thomas Leeming is linked to this painting as Fallowes was a founder of the Hereford subscription library in 1815, the year our chess club picture was painted (https://bit.ly/2SyWIJ9), and therefore would have been known to the gentlemen depicted and Leeming himself. However, at the moment there is no other evidence that he was the artist responsible for this picture. There are no inscriptions or labels which give any clues to attribution. It was given to the Museum in 1900 by the Shareholders of the Hereford Permanent Library (the year of its dissolution). This library was superseded in 1874 by the Hereford Free Library and Museum.'

Jacinto Regalado,

Does the collection know the vital dates for Benjamin Fallowes?

Martin Hopkinson,

His will of 2 May 1818 is at Kew
He was articled as a Clerk to a relative also called Benjamin Fellowes in 1775
On 30 June 1791 he was living in Milk Street, Hereford
Another man of this name may have lived not so far away in Leominster

Martin Hopkinson,

Many references to him can be found in the National Archives

Jacinto Regalado,

The picture is in poor condition and obviously in need of restoration, which obscures examination. The closest thing to it by Leeming on Art UK is the following, which looks like better work but is also in much better condition:

https://bit.ly/3uMEp1a

Jacinto Regalado,

I meant to say that while one cannot be certain, the Fallowes portrait could be by Leeming.

Unfortunately, I have no other evidence to offer on the Fallowes painting at this stage. The possible link to Thomas Leeming in relation to this picture is recorded but, as I have described, it is circumstantial. Comparison with the Oxford painting of Anthony Cooper is interesting but for contrast and simple amusement I attach an image and obituary of Rev. William Hollings depicted in watercolour by Leeming.

To try to make progress on this discussion, may I suggest that the collection supplies an image of the reverse of this apparently unlined painting. At the moment the collection has commented "There are no inscriptions or labels which give any clues to attribution". But could there be non-attributional markings?

Otherwise I fear that it may be difficult to make further progress.

I am happy to provide an image of the back but there is nothing to see other than an almost invisible framers label on the top of the frame which reads: J.H. Clanegan, Carver and Gilder, St. Owens Street, Hereford.

Dictionary of English Furniture Makers:

Flanegan, John H., Hereford, carver, gilder, picture frame and looking-glass manufacturer (1835–40). Recorded at St Owen St in 1840, the address given on his trade label. Submitted bills dated September 1835 and December 1836 to Captain N. L. Pateshall, RN of Hereford, for picture frames totalling 13s 9d and 9s 6d.

Jacob Simon, I am grateful for the information on Flanegan - the label is very difficult to see but it must be an 'F' and not a 'C' as I read.

I suspect that we do not have enough information to resolve this discussion, “Is Thomas Lemming the artist of this portrait?” The portrait, entitled “Benjamin Fallowes, Clerk of the Peace for the County of Hereford”, depicts an elderly man. On grounds of the age (could Fallowes have been born in the 1750s?) and more certainly of costume, no doubt conservative, we may have a portrait of c.1795-1815.

Two artists have been alluded to, Thomas Leeming (1788-1822) and Edward Smith (1795-1879). Because of the small number of certain works by these artists, it is not possible to attribute our portrait to either man with any confidence.

On this basis, unless further information is forthcoming, I propose that we should close this discussion in a week’s time.

S. Elin Jones,

I’m not sure it’ll help with identifying the artist of this painting, but there is fair amount of information on the supposed sitter that may be of use to the collection.

Benjamin Fallowes was born in 1758 to Benjamin and Thomasin Fallowes, and baptised in that year in Leomister, Hereford.
He was a Solicitor in Hereford (as was his father), as well as Clerk of the Peace for the county of Hereford. He died on Wednesday the 26th of November, 1817 at the age of 59. The probate date for his will was May 2, 1818.

There was a detailed obituary of his life of in the Hereford Journal, 3 December, 1817 (attached). Two monuments to him were also placed in Hereford Cathedral.

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I recommend that we close this discussion, “Is Thomas Lemming the artist of this portrait?” The portrait, entitled “Benjamin Fallowes, Clerk of the Peace for the County of Hereford”, depicts Benjamin Fallowes (1758-1817), with thanks to S. Elin Jones for his obituary.

Two artists have been alluded to, Thomas Leeming (1788-1822) and Edward Smith (1795-1879). Because of the small number of certain works by these artists, it is not possible to attribute our portrait to either man with any confidence.

Subject to any further thoughts from the collection we should now close this discusssion as inconclusive.

The Collection has commented: 'Yes, we agree that it is sensible to close the discussion. Some useful information has come forward but it does not seem to bring us any closer to a definitive answer about who the artist was.'