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Title Portrait of the Rev. Dr Cox Macro
Collection Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery
Artist Mieris, Frans van (Dutch painter, writer, and numismatist, 1689-1763)
Tillemans, Peter (Flemish painter and draftsman, 1684-1734, active in Great Britain)
Date Earliest probably about 1703
Date Latest probably about 1715
Description The Suffolk antiquary Cox Macro (1683-1767) studied medicine at Cambridge and Leiden Universities. He was a keen collector and an important patron of the Flemish artist Peter Tillemans. This small oval portrait on copper shows Macro in a full early eighteenth-century wig and was probably painted in Leiden by Frans van Mieris around 1703. However, documentary evidence (see notes for this record) suggests that the face was repainted by Tillemans, probably around 1716, when the sitter also appeared in Tillemans's well-known painting The Artist's Studio. Frans van Mieris came from a family of successful painters that included his father, Willem, and grandfather, also called Frans. Dr Macro's extensive collection of paintings, including several works by Tillemans, was inherited through marriage by John Patteson, in 1781. Today, the heart of that collection, including this work, forms part of the Patteson Collection at Norwich Castle Museum.
Current Accession Number NWHCM:1991.1.38:F
Former Accession Number 38.1.991; 38.L1984.1
Subject portrait (Macro, Rev. Dr Cox)
Measurements 11.1 x 8.5 cm cm (estimate)
Material oil on metal (copper)
Acquisition Details Purchased from the estate of Philippa and Charity Patteson through Sotheby's, 1991, with grant aid from the Museums and Galleries Commission (in lieu of inheritance tax), the National Heritage Memorial Fund, and the National Art-Collections Fund
Provenance Dr Cox Macro, until 1767; by descent to John Patteson, until 1833; by descent to Philippa and Charity Patteson.
Principal Exhibitions Dutch and Flemish Painting in Norfolk, Norwich Castle Museum, 1988, cat. no. 77.
Publications Farrer, E., Portraits in Suffolk Houses, 1908, p. 372, no. 9, ill.; Moore, A., Dutch and Flemish Painting in Norfolk, London, 1988, esp. pp. 123-24, ill. p. 124.
Notes

'Inscribed in ink on back (mostly illegible) 'Dr Cox Macro / of / Little H[augh Hall] presented by him [?] [...] / [...] / Francis [...]'; fragment of a label inscribed in ink on back 'From Norton / Dr Macro / [...]'; plaque inscribed '10'.

This painting is very probably the work described in a MS catalogue of Cox Macro's collection, in Macro's own hand, as 'Dr Macro. Young Mieris made the Drapery & Hand & P. Tillemans some part of the Face' (Norwich Castle Museum, Macro A); and as the work recorded in a later catalogue as 'Van Mieris -- 79 A port. of Dr Macro on copper 6' (Norwich Castle Museum, Macro B).

Rights Owner Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery
Author Richard Johns
 

 

 

 

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