2 December 2015
Equestrian Portrait of Seymourina Poirson, signed, inscribed "Paris" and dated 1863.
Oil on canvas, 74 by 92.5 cm.
The young lady in the painting presented here is the goddaughter and the foster child of Richard Seymour-Conway, 4th Marquess of Hertford, a founder of the Wallace collection. Lord Hertford commissioned the work to Nikolai Sverchkov, who was then working in Paris. Seymourina Poirson (née Cuthbertson) is painted astride a thoroughbred horse, acquired by Lord Hertford at the famous Tattersalls horse auction, where he notoriously outbid none other than the French Emperor Napoleon III. As the legend has it, once Lord Hertford had learned the identity of his underbidder, he attempted to present the horse to him. This portrait, therefore, was commissioned to commemorate this purchase, as well as to showcase the beauty and elegance of his goddaughter Seymourina.
Provenance: Collection of Richard Seymour-Conway, 4th Marquess of Hertford.
Bequeathed by the above to the sitter, his goddaughter.
Thence by descent.
Private collection, France.
Notes on symbols:
* Indicates 5% Import Duty Charge applies.
Ω Indicates 20% Import Duty Charge applies.
§ Indicates Artist's Resale Right applies.
† Indicates Standard VAT scheme applies, and the rate of 20% VAT will be charged on both hammer price and premium.