|Title||Portrait of Charles Dumergue|
|Collection||Victoria Art Gallery, Bath|
|Artist|| Zoffany, Johann (German painter, 1733-1810, active in England)
Previously attributed to Opie, John (British painter, 1761-1807)
|Date Earliest||about 1780|
|Date Latest||about 1780|
|Description||A half-length portrait of Charles Dumergue depicted at about forty years of age. Dumergue appears dapper, wearing a neat grey wig and attired in a red coat with white waistcoat and cravat. His body is slightly turned, he looks steadily towards the viewer.|
|Current Accession Number||BATVG:P:1980.71|
|Subject||portrait (Charles Dumergue)|
|Measurements||76 x 64 cm (estimate)|
|Material||oil on canvas|
|Acquisition Details||Given by Miss Olive Warren Crosse 1976.|
|Provenance||Collection of Charles Dumergue, c. 1780-1814; by descent to Sophia Dumergue 1814-1831; by descent to Edward Dumergue, 1831-1887.|
|Publications||M. Webster Johan Zoffany 1733-1610, London, 1977, pp. 71-72, cat. no. 93, cited as untraced); Catalogue of Paintings at Guildhall, The Assembly Rooms and Pump Room, Bath, Bath, 1985, p. 16, cat. no. 73; Sloman, S., Victoria Art Gallery: Concise Catalogue of Paintings and Drawings, Bath, 1991, p. 120.|
|Notes||Charles Dumergue (1739-1814) moved to England as dental surgeon with the entourage of the French Ambassador. In London he was appointed dental surgeon to the court of George III. Dumergue was one of the first to realise the health benefits of good dentistry. He enjoyed a successful career in London, where he was favoured by the royal family, and moved in literary and scientific circles. His associates included Zoffany, Sir Walter Scott, and the Birmingham industrialist Matthew Boulton. Dumergue was an executor of Zoffany's will.
The Victoria Art Gallery is also in possession of the contemporary portrait by Zoffany of Dumergue's only daughter, Sophia, who lived in London with her father (1998.1).
Miss Crosse of London was a great-great niece of Charles Dumergue, through her maternal family.
In his will of 1814, Charles made his daughter Sophia his principal heir, to inherit the property in Piccadilly and all its contents; in her own will of 1 May 1830, Sophia left ‘to my much beloved [second?] cousin E. Dumergue, my snuff boxes, prints and pictures.' In both cases it is reasonable to suppose the property included the Zoffany portraits.
|Rights Owner||Victoria Art Gallery, Bath|
|Author||Dr Susan Steer|