(England, Australia 1803–30 Mar 1842)
142.5 x 114.0cm stretcher; 177.5 x 150.5 x 13.0cm frame
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.
Colleen Morris (Author), Lost gardens of Sydney, Sydney, 2008, 70 (colour illus.).
'Tempe House. Buried alive?' by Mark Matheson, pg. 8-9., Reflections: the National Trust Quarterly Feb 2001-Apr 2001, Feb 2001-Apr 2001, 8 (colour illus.).
Bruce James (Australia) (Author), Edmund Capon (England; Australia, b.1940) (Director), Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, Domain, 1999, 105 (colour illus.).
Alexandra Joel (Author), Parade: The story of fashion in Australia, Pymble, 1998, 16 (colour illus.), 17.
'Art in Arcadia' by Mark Matheson, pg. 9-16, 40., Heritage 1998, 1998, inside front cover (colour illus.), 13 (illus.).
Siglo 1995, 1995, 20 (illus.).
Patricia McDonald (Curator), Barry Pearce (Australia) (Author), The artist and the patron - aspects of Colonial art in New South Wales, Sydney, 1988, 64, 65 (colour illus.), 66. cat.no. 43
Margaret Maynard (Australia) (Author), Fashioned from Penury Dress as Cultural Practice in Colonial Australia, 55 (illus.). cat.no. 11
The artist and the patron: Aspects of colonial art in New South Wales., Art Gallery of New South Wales, 02 Mar 1988–01 May 1988.
Lost gardens of Sydney, Museum of Sydney, 09 Aug 2008–30 Nov 2008.