|Title||Maria Anna Walstein Wurtemburg, Marquesa de Santa-Cruz, within a Feigned Oval|
|Alternative Title||Portrait of the Marchioness de Santa Cruz; The Marquise of Santa-Cruz|
|Collection||National Trust for Scotland (Brodick Castle)|
|Artist|| Sequeira, Domingos António de (Portuguese painter, printmaker, and architect, 1768-1837)
Previously attributed to Vigée-LeBrun, Elisabeth Louise (French painter, 1755-1842)
|Date Earliest||possibly about|
|Date Latest||possibly about|
Maria Anna Walstein Wurtemburg, Marquesa de Santa-Cruz (b. 1756), was a romantic figure from William Beckford's early life. The Beckford manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, contain letters from the Marquesa de Santa Cruz to Beckford (Letters to W. Beckford, with notes of replies, 1788-9 MS. Beckford c. 24, fols. 93-193).
Beckford visited Portugal and Spain in 1787-88, during which time he formed a close friendship with the 5th Marques de Marialva. It was probably the Marques who introduced Beckford to Sequeira, who subsequently became one of the artist's first patrons. The date of the present portrait has not been established: the Marquesa, born in 1756, is portrayed as a young woman, seemingly no older than in her early thirties. This would place the work within the timespan of Sequeira's self-portrait (referred to under ‘Related Works', below), Beckford's visit to Portugal and his subsequent correspondence with the Marquesa (preserved in the Bodelian Library). However, Sequeira was still a student artist in the late 1780s, and left for Rome around 1788, not returning to Lisbon until late in 1796. Delaforce (2002) implies that Beckford's patronage of Sequeira began in the mid-1790s, after his return from Rome. Beckford's agent, Gregorio Franci, is quite likely to have been involved as intermediary in any commission or sale. Further study of the correspondence between Beckford, the Marques de Marialva, the Marquesa de Santa Cruz and Franci, in the Beckford papers in the Bodelian, may help to clarify when and how the painting entered Beckford's collection. That the painting survived so many sales of Beckford's collections is indicative of the sentiment that Beckford attached to the work.
|Current Accession Number||Pending|
|Subject||portrait (Wurtemburg, Maria Anna Walstein)|
|Measurements||24.8 x 19.6 cm cm (estimate)|
|Material||oil on canvas|
|Acquisition Details||Accepted by Her Majesty's Treasury on death of Mary Louise Hamilton, Duchess of Montrose, in 1957, in lieu of inheritance tax and allocated by her express wish to The National Trust for Scotland, as part of the Brodick Castle estate.|
|Provenance||William Beckford (1760-1844); to his daughter Susan Euphemia Beckford, Duchess of Hamilton, wife of Alexander (d.1859), 10th Duke of Hamilton (d. 1852); by descent to her grandson, William, 12th Duke of Hamilton (d. 1895); under the terms of a Trust Disposition and Settlement of 1893, to his only child Mary Louise Douglas-Hamilton, later Duchess of Montrose.|
|Publications||Ostergaard, D. (ed.), William Beckford 1760-1844: An Eye for the Magnificent, New York, 2000, p. 270; Delaforce, A., Art and Patronage in Eighteenth-Century Portugal, Cambridge, 2002, especially pp. 369-72.|
Inscriptions: '1) black ink, right frame, in neat numbering: '238'; 2) pencil, top frame: '25' (encircled); 3) blue chalk, top frame: 'No.10'; 4) pencil, right stretcher: '9/'; 5) pencil, frame: '89'. Labels: 1) paper label, printed, frame: '89';2) paper label, blue biro, stretcher: 'Property of / Duchess of Montrose / 1900 – 1948'.
Inventories: Inventory and Valuation […] of Nos 10 and 20 Lansdown Cresecent Bath, The Tower, on Landsdown and Farm and Premises all adjoining – the property of the late William Thomas Beckford Esqr […], Sept 13th 1844, Edmund English & Sons, Bath, and Robert Hume, London (Bodleian Library, Oxford, MS. Beckford c. 58, p. 12); List of Pictures, Furniture, Ornaments, China & c. sent from Bath to Easton Park, 1848-1849, (NRAS 332/M/12/50, p. 2), as Portrait of the Marchioness de Santa Cruz, by Sequeira; Easton Park, Suffolk. A True and Perfect Inventory and Appraisement of All and singular the Household Furniture, Plate, Linen, China, Books, Prints, Pictures, Jewels, Trinkets, Wine and other the Personal Effects of The Most Noble His Grace The Duke of Hamilton K.G. (at the Mansion at Easton Park in the County of Suffolk in the Diocese of Norwich) who died on the 18th day of August 1852. Taken and made on the 13th and following days of September then next ensuring By Robert Cana and William Cana, Appraisers, (NRAS 332/M/12/52, vol. 2, p. 14), as Portrait – La Marquise de Santa Cruz; Valuation for Probate of the Contents of Brodick Castle... the property of the Arran and Easton Trustees (in the sense of the Hamilton Estates Act, 1918) and of her late Grace Mary Louise, Duchess of Montrose […], 1957, Christie, Manson and Woods Ltd (Brodick Castle, p.9), as Small half-length portrait of a lady in a blue decollete dress / in a painted oval by Le Brun; List of pictures photographed at Brodick Castle, Isle of Arran, property of the late Duchess of Montrose, Private Collection Survey, Scottish National Portrait Gallery, 1958, as The Marquise of Santa-Cruz by 'D A de Sequeira (attributed)'.
The handling of the portrait, in particular the sensitive treatment of the mouth and the sitter's open, wide-eyed expression, may be compared to a self-portrait by Sequeira in red and black chalk, of around 1785 in the Museu Nacional de Arte, Lisbon (inv. no. 2558). The drawing is executed on a comparable scale to the Brodick painting, and one might reasonably expect there to have been a preparatory study of a similar nature for the Marquesa's portrait.
Beckford owned several other painting by Sequeira, including A Holy Family attended by Angels and St Anthony of Padua, recorded in the 1844 inventory, in the Dining Room and Duchess's Drawing Room, respectively, of 20 Lansdown Crescent. The latter painting was sold with the contents of Lansdown Crescent in 1848 (lot 96). The Beckford manuscripts in the Bodelian Library, Oxford, also include a drawing attributed to Sequeria. [See Letters from Franchi to Beckford, in Portuguese, 1823-28, n.d. (Bodleian Library, Oxford, Shelfmark: MS. Beckford c. 13 Extent: 114 leaves).] Many of the letters were written from abroad, especially Rome, 1825, and Paris, 1825-6. They include pen-and-ink drawings of objets d'art and caricatures by Franchi, and some notes of replies by Beckford, with (fol. 89) a drawing possibly by D.A. de Sequeira, 1826, reproduced in Boyd Alexander, England's wealthiest son (1962), p.103.
|Rights Owner||The National Trust for Scotland|