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Alfred Edward Chalon R.A. (1780-1860) - A Beauty of Byron England
  • Alfred Edward Chalon R.A. (1780-1860) - A Beauty of Byron England

    Chalon throughout his career was known as an impressive portraitist and depicted various people from the London noble classes including famously Queen Victoria. His version of Her Majesty was then used on all early stamps throughout the Commonwealth. Together with his brother John James, they set up the Sketching Society with their friend Francis Stevens. This group lasted from 1808-1851 and was a continuation of the earlier club started by Girtin and then Cotman. 


    This work almost certainly is related to the book 'Finden's Byron Beauties: Or the principal Female characters in Lord Byron's poems' published in 1836. Chalon was asked to provide at least two pictures for this publication including a portrait for the Countess Guiccioli. Although the engraving produced for this book has the Countess looking in the opposite direction, there are similarities between the two faces (see British Museum number: 1868,0822.7815). Both the hair and the nose of the two portraits bear a resemblence, suggesting that our watercolour may have been a potential design for the engraving before Finden decided they wanted a three-quarter length picture and not just a head composition. It could equally be a portrait for a different character in the book which was not chosen for publication.


    Medium: watercolour with pencil on paper, inscribed verso 'A Beauty of Byron, England' in the artist's handwriting, 17.5 x 12 cm, framed.


    Provenance: Collection of Henry C. Hall; Private collection, England.


    Condition report: generally in very good condition. The mount could be replaced at some point as it has a few markings.

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