Monday, October 27, 2014

The intriguing story of Dido Belle at Kenwood in England.

Unknown Artist Portrait of Dido Elizabeth Belle (1761–1804) (left) and Lady Elizabeth Murray.

Dido Elizabeth Belle was the daughter of Admiral Sir John Lindsay of the Royal Navy & Maria Belle, a slave whom he met en route from England to Jamaica around 1761. Lindsay acknowledged that Dido was his daughter.  When Lindsay went back to the navy, he entrusted 5-year-old Belle to his uncle, William Murray, Lord Mansfield, who lived at Kenwood. Lord & Lady Mansfield had no children of their own but raised Belle with Lady Elizabeth Murray, the daughter of Mansfield’s other nephew, David Murray.  William Murray, Lord Mansfield, who as Lord Chief Justice presided over some of the most  historic cases that affected enslaved Africans.
1768-69 Allan Ramsay (English artist, 1713–1784) Captain Sir John Lindsay (1737–1788)

Dido lived at Kenwood for 30 years. She received an allowance & helped Lord Mansfield with his legal correspondence as well as supervising the care of the Kenwood dairy & poultry.  Dido was provided with furniture, birthday & Christmas gifts & ass’s milk when she was ill.

On August 29th 1779, American loyalist, Thomas Hutchinson (1711-1780) after visiting Kenwood, recorded in his diary:  "A Black came in after dinner & sat with the ladies & after coffee, walked with the company in the gardens, one of the young ladies having her arm within the other. She had a very high cap & her wool was much frizzled in her neck, but not enough to answer the large curls now in fashion. She is neither handsome nor genteel- pert enough. I knew her history before, but My Lord mentioned it again. Sir John Lindsay having taken her mother prisoner in a Spanish vessel, brought her to England where she was delivered of this girl, of which she was then with child, & which was taken care of by Lord M., & has been educated by his family. He calls her Dido, which I suppose is all the name she has. He knows he has been reproached for showing fondness for her — I dare say not criminal.  A few years ago there was a cause before his Lordship bro’t by a Black for recovery of his liberty.  A Jamaica planter being asked what judgement his Ldship would give? 'No doubt' he answered, 'He will be set free, for Lord Mansfield keeps a Black in his house which governs him & the whole family.'  She is a sort of Superintendant over the dairy, poultry yard, etc, which we visited. And she was called upon by my Lord every minute for this thing & that, & shewed the greatest attention to everything he said."
American loyalist, Thomas Hutchinson (1711-1780)

Hutchinson had been a Boston merchant who served as governor of Massachusetts. Viewed as pro-British by many, Hutchinson's house was looted & burned in 1765, by an angry crowd protesting the Stamp Act. As matters escalated, Hutchinson fled to England. Hutchinson's story of Dido's parentage did not match her father's.

When Lord Mansfield died, he carefully recorded in his will, that Dido was a free woman. She received legacies from her father, her great-uncle & other Mansfield relatives. From Lord Mansfield Dido inherited £500 outright, £100 per year, & of greatest consequence, her freedom. She also received £1000 (shared with another illegitimate child) from her father, Captain Sir John Lindsay, who died in 1788, & £100 from her aunt, Lady Margery (or Marjorie) Murray.
c 1740 Jean-Baptiste van Loo (French-born artist, 1684–1745) William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield (1705-1793)

William Murray, Lord Mansfield, died in 1793.  Belle left Kenwood in 1793, when she married John Davinier, an English steward at Kenwood.  They had 3 children-twin boys, Charles & John, & another son named William.  They lived in Pimlico. Belle died in 1804, aged 43.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Children with Birds in Cages from the 18C-19C



1700s François Boucher (French artist, 1703-1770) Portrait of Alexandrine Le Normant d'Étiolles, Playing with a Finch

More birds, more cages, and this time, children.  I am sure I have taken leave of my senses.  After the  birdcages in taverns search, I could not leave these out.

1700s Anton Raphael Mengs (1728-1779) Archduchess Maria Teresa of Austria with a caged parrot



1742 William Hogarth, (English artist, 1697-1764) The Graham Children



1757 Johann Georg Ziesenis (German artist, 1716-1777) Portrait of Maria Anna of Zweibrücken



1700s Hugh Douglas Hamilton (English artist, 1740–1808) The Grey Children



1800  Jean-Baptiste Greuze (French Rococo Era Painter, 1725-1805)  Girl with Doves



1800s André Henri Dargelas (French artist, 1828-1906) The Pet Bird



1800s Georg Friedrich Kersting (German artist, 1785-1847) Two Children with Parrot



1800s James Sant (English artist, 1820–1916) Girls with Bird and Cage



1800s Jan (Frederik Pieter) Portielje (Dutch painter, 1829-1908) Feeding the Bird



1800s Paul Seignac (French artist, 1826–1904) The Bird



1800s Philip Hoyoll (English artist, 1816-1875) Food for the Canary



1800s Philip Hoyoll (English artist, 1816-1875) Put Salt on their Tails to Catch Them



1800s William-Adolphe Bouguereau (French Academic painter, 1825-1905)  Pet Bird



1851 Johann Georg Meyer (German artist, 1813-1886) Boy with Bird



1856 Jonathan Eastman Johnson (1824-1906)  Girl and Pets



1867 Jacob Maris (Dutch painter, 1837-1899) A Girl Feeding a Bird in a Cage



1880s Berthe Morisot (French painter, 1841-1895) Julie Manet with a Budgie



1885 Berthe Morisot (French artist, 1841-1895) Girl with Birdcage



1888 Berthe Morisot (French painter, 1841-1895) Young Girl and Budgie



1889 John Singer Sargent (American artist, 1856–1925) Beatrice Goelet



1800-1900 Harry Roseland, (American genre painter, 1868-1950) Watching the Blue Bird



1800-1900s Paul Seignac (French artist, 1826–1904) The Bird



1800-1900 Harry Roseland, (American genre painter, 1868-1950) Feeding the Bird



c 1900 Harrington Mann (Scottish artist, 1864-1937) The Bird Cage


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Emblems or real birds? by Caspar Netscher c 1635-1684


Caspar Netscher (Dutch Baroque Era Painter, c 1635-1684) Lady with a Parrot and Gentleman with a Monkey 1664 detail


Caspar Netscher (Dutch Baroque Era Painter, c 1635-1684) Young Woman Feeding a Parrot


Caspar Netscher (Dutch Baroque Era Painter, c 1635-1684) Queen Mary


Caspar Netscher (Dutch Baroque Era Painter, c 1635-1684) Lady at the Window 1666 detail


Friday, October 17, 2014

"A bird in the hand" - Children with pet birds 16C-18C


 1564 Hermann tom Ring (German artist, 1521–1597) Sisters Ermengard and Walburg von Rietberg Detail from Rietberg Family Portrait 1564 (with pet bird and monkey)


 1604 Daniël van den Queborn (Dutch artist, 1552–1602) Portrait of a little boy, maybe Lodewijk van Nassau


 1608 Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger (1561-1636) Portrait of a Boy aged 2


 1620 Unknown artist of the Flemish School, Portrait of a boy


 1620s Cornelis de Vos (Flemish artist, 1584-1651)  A Young Girl Holding a Bullfinch


 1627 Wybrand de Geest (Dutch artist, 1592-1661-65) Portrait of a boy


 1629 Attr to Dirck Dircksz van Santvoort (Dutch artist, 1610-1680) Portrait of a Child age Two Holding a Parrot


 1632 Jan Anthonisz van Ravesteyn (Dutch painter, 1572-1657) Portrait of Joannes de Ruyter, 1632 - Princess Salimah Aga Khan


 1630 Unknown artist, Erardus van der Laen,


 1640 Unknown artist Netherlandish School Portrait of a Girl with a Parrot


 1640s Circle of Wybrand de Geest (Dutch artist, 1592-1661-65) Portrait of a Girl


 1640s Philippe de Champaigne (Fench artist, 1602-1674)  Portrait of Anna Maria de Chevreuse her father was the chief falconer of France


 1642 Charles Beaubrun (Charles Bobrun) (French artist, 1604–1692)  Portrait of Louis XIV with his younger brother Philip I of Orléans


 1644 Unknown artist of the Dutch School Portrait of a Boy, Aged Three, with a Large Hat and a Parrot


 1649 Jacob Gerritszoon Cuyp (Dutch painter, 1594-1652) Michiel Pompe van Slingelandt (1643-1685),


 1650 Erasmus Quellinus II (Flemish painter, 1607–1678) Portrait of a Young Boy


 1650-90 Unknown artist Young Children with a Spaniel and a Parrot


 1664 Cesar Pietersz, or Cesar Boetius van Everdingen (Dutch artist, 1616-17-1678) Two-year-old Boy with an Apple


 1690s Godfrey Kneller (English artist, 1648–1723) Portrait of a Boy of the Pole Family


 1731 Jean Ranc (French artist, 1674-1735) María Antonieta Fernanda de Borbón (1729-1785)


 1768 Francesco Guardi (Italian artist, 1712-93) A Young Girl of the Gradenigo Family with a Dove


1776 Thomas Hudson (English artist, 1701-79) Boy with Birds in a Tricorn Hat


1787 Francisco José de Goya (Spanish painter, 1746–1828) Don Manuel Osorio Manrique de Zuniga