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Title

Portrait of Mrs Alexander Spark

1840


Artist

Maurice Felton

England, Australia

1803 - 30 Mar 1842


About

Naval surgeon Maurice Felton (1803-42) gained considerable acclaim from his secondary pursuit, painting landscapes and society portraits. Unfortunately his Australian career was short lived, due to his untimely death from unrecorded causes less than four years after his arrival in Sydney.

This portrait is one of the artist’s finest. Its subject, Frances Maria Spark, was the wife of successful merchant and art patron Alexander Brodie Spark, who commissioned this portrait shortly after their marriage. Mrs Spark was a woman of substance in colonial society, residing with her husband at Tempe House, the John Verge (1782-1861) designed house on the Cooks River, south of Sydney.

This original frame was commissioned by Mr Sparks from Solomon Lewis in 1840, and was restored in 2008. The gilded surface is mostly original.


Details


Other Title

Mrs Alexander Sparke


Date

1840


Media category

Painting


Materials used

oil on canvas


Dimensions

142.5 x 114.0 cm stretcher; 177.5 x 150.5 x 13.0 cm frame


Signature & date

Signed l.r. on upper spine of book, yellow oil "M FELTON".
Dated l.r. on lower spine of book, yellow oil "1840".


Credit

Purchased 1974


Accession number

117.1974


Artist information

Maurice Felton

Works in the collection

1


Shown in 3 exhibitions

Exhibition history


Referenced in 8 publications

Bibliography


Bruce James, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Australian Collection: Painting and Sculpture', pg. 102-181, Sydney, 1999, 105 (colour illus.).

Alexandra Joel, Parade: The story of fashion in Australia, 'The Colonial Years', pg. 1-17, Pymble, 1998, 16 (colour illus.), 17.

Joan Kerr, The artist and the patron - aspects of Colonial art in New South Wales, 'Views, visages, invisibility', pg. 15-24, Sydney, 1988, 64, 65 (colour illus.), 66. cat.no. 43

David Lawton, Siglo, Tasmania, 1995, 20 (illus.).

Mark Matheson, Reflections: the National Trust Quarterly, 'Tempe House. Buried alive?', pg. 8-9, Sydney, Feb 2001-Apr 2001, 8 (colour illus.).

Mark Matheson, Heritage, 'Art in Arcadia', pg. 9-16, 40., Sydney, 1998, inside front cover (colour illus.), 13 (illus.).

Margaret Maynard, Fashioned from Penury Dress as Cultural Practice in Colonial Australia, 55 (illus.). cat.no. 11

Colleen Morris, Lost gardens of Sydney, 'Allusions to the picturesques', pg. 557-72, Sydney, 2008, 70 (colour illus.).