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Archive for the ‘Jane Austen Portrait’ Category

The results of the work undertaken by Paris-based restorer, Eva Schwann, have now been published on The Rice Portrait Website and makes fascinating reading whether your interest is in the restoration of paintings or in the history of this particularly beautiful portrait. Eva was trained at the Courtauld Institute and France’s Institut National du Patrimoine and spent much of 2010 and 11 bringing the painting back to life. I was lucky enough to visit Eva in her studio whilst work was being undertaken, and to see the portrait for myself. You can read about the lovely day I had here

 Eva was able to clean the significant OH symbol that the artist used in many of his works, which is especially pleasing to see – I think there can be no doubt that the portrait was painted by Ozias Humphry.

  There is also a new article on the website about the Austen family’s connections with the Humphreys – they were also acquainted with Ozias’s younger brother, William and his wife who lived at Seal. Mrs Humphries (sic) wrote to Jane’s father to tell him of William Hampson Walter’s death in 1798. He was George Austen’s half-brother and lived at Seal also. Jane wrote a letter of condolence to her cousin, Philadelphia:

  Steventon Sunday April 8th

My dear Cousin

As Cassandra is at present from home, You must accept from my pen, our sincere Condolance on the melancholy Event which Mrs Humphries Letter announced to my Father this morning.——The loss of so kind & affectionate a Parent, must be a very severe affliction to all his Children, to yourself more especially, as your constant residence with him has given you so much the more constant & intimate Knowledge of his Virtues.——But the very circumstance which at present enhances your loss, must gradually reconcile you to it the better;——the Goodness which made him valuable on Earth, will make him Blessed in Heaven.——This consideration must bring comfort to yourself, to my Aunt, & to all his family & friends; & this comfort must be heightened by the consideration of the little Enjoyment he was able to receive from this World for some time past, & of the small degree of pain attending his last hours.——I will not press you to write before you would otherwise feel equal to it, but when you can do it without pain, I hope we shall receive from you as good an account of my Aunt & Yourself, as can be expected in these early days of Sorrow.——

    My Father & Mother join me in every kind wish, & I am my dear Cousin,

                                                 Yours affec:tely
                                                       Jane Austen
Miss Walter
Seal
Sevenoaks
Kent
The Grey House, Seal, thought to be the home of the Walters

    

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The Friendship Book/Album of James Stanier Clarke containing, amongst many other items, a watercolour portrait believed to be a very rare depiction of Jane Austen, will be offered for sale at Christies, London, on Wednesday 8th June 2011!

I’ve always thought this a fascinating story, and I must admit the painting fits in with my idea of how Jane Austen looked. You can read all about the book’s incredible history by  clicking here.

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Jane Austen was writing from a very early age. Her family kept some of her early pieces, one of which was this comic ‘novel’ believed to have been written between the years 1787-90, when Jane was aged between 12 and 15 years old. I think it really illustrates well her sense of humour which was to become integral to her writing later on.

THE BEAUTIFULL CASSANDRA

A NOVEL IN TWELVE CHAPTERS

Dedicated by permission to Miss Austen.
Dedication:

MADAM

You are a Phoenix. Your taste is refined, your Sentiments are noble, & your Virtues innumerable. Your Person is lovely, your Figure, elegant, & your Form, magestic. Your Manners are polished, your Conversation is rational & your appearance singular. If, therefore, the following Tale will afford one moment’s amusement to you, every wish will be gratified of

Your most obedient
humble servant

THE AUTHOR

CHAPTER THE FIRST

CASSANDRA was the Daughter & the only Daughter of a celebrated Millener in Bond Street. Her father was of noble Birth, being the near relation of the Dutchess of …’s Butler.

CHAPTER THE 2d

WHEN Cassandra had attained her 16th year, she was lovely & amiable, & chancing to fall in love with an elegant Bonnet her Mother had just compleated, bespoke by the Countess of …, she placed it on her gentle Head & walked from her Mother’s shop to make her Fortune.

CHAPTER THE 3d

THE first person she met, was the Viscount of …, a young Man, no less celebrated for his Accomplishments & Virtues, than for his Elegance & Beauty. She curtseyed & walked on.

CHAPTER THE 4th

SHE then proceeded to a Pastry-cook’s, where she devoured six ices, refused to pay for them, knocked down the Pastry Cook & walked away.

CHAPTER THE 5th

SHE next ascended a Hackney Coach & ordered it to Hampstead, where she was no sooner arrived than she ordered the Coachman to turn round & drive her back again.

CHAPTER THE 6th

BEING returned to the same spot of the same Street she had set out from, the Coachman demanded his Pay.

CHAPTER THE 7th

SHE searched her pockets over again & again; but every search was unsuccessfull. No money could she find. The man grew peremptory. She placed her bonnet on his head & ran away.

CHAPTER THE 8th

THRO’ many a street she then proceeded & met in none the least Adventure, till on turning a Corner of Bloomsbury Square, she met Maria.

CHAPTER THE 9th

CASSANDRA started & Maria seemed surprised; they trembled, blushed, turned pale & passed each other in a mutual silence.

CHAPTER THE 10th

CASSANDRA was next accosted by her freind the Widow, who squeezing out her little Head thro’ her less window, asked her how she did? Cassandra curtseyed & went on.

CHAPTER THE 11th

A QUARTER of a mile brought her to her paternal roof in Bond Street, from which she had now been absent nearly 7 hours.

CHAPTER THE 12th

SHE entered it & was pressed to her Mother’s bosom by that worthy Woman. Cassandra smiled & whispered to herself “This is a day well spent.”

FINIS

Illustrations by Jane Odiwe: A portrait of a young Jane Austen, A teacup, Jane Austen at her desk

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This is one of my portraits of Jane Austen in a reflective mood. Inspired by her sister Cassandra’s sketch, I have taken away her spinster’s cap for a more youthful image. This is how I imagine she would have looked at about the time she was writing Pride and Prejudice. Which one of her beau inspired the character of Mr Darcy, I wonder? Was it Tom Lefroy as some suggest, or was it Edward Taylor, Mr Heartley, Reverend C. Powlett or Mr Warren? These gentleman are all mentioned in Jane’s letters as possible suitors. And what about the mysterious suitor from Sidmouth? Jane is supposed to have fallen in love with a young clergyman in the West Country in 1801. Cassandra believed that Jane held him in high regard and that he returned her feelings. They were supposed to have met up at a later date but news of his untimely death reached them, possibly thwarting Jane’s hopes of matrimony forever.

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This is one of my portraits of Jane Austen in a reflective mood. Inspired by her sister Cassandra’s sketch, I have taken away her spinster’s cap for a more youthful image. This is how I imagine she would have looked at about the time she was writing Pride and Prejudice. Which one of her beau inspired the character of Mr Darcy, I wonder? Was it Tom Lefroy as some suggest, or was it Edward Taylor, Mr Heartley, Reverend C. Powlett or Mr Warren? These gentleman are all mentioned in Jane’s letters as possible suitors. And what about the mysterious suitor from Sidmouth? Jane is supposed to have fallen in love with a young clergyman in the West Country in 1801. Cassandra believed that Jane held him in high regard and that he returned her feelings. They were supposed to have met up at a later date but news of his untimely death reached them, possibly thwarting Jane’s hopes of matrimony forever.

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