caption

attributed to Benjamin Wilson, Anne Hussey Delaval, Lady Stanhope, and Sir John Delaval in a Performance of 'The Fair Penitent' by Nicholas Rowe

Photo courtesy of Dave Penman (All rights reserved)

Details

Country House
Doddington Hall
Title(s)
Anne Hussey Delaval, Lady Stanhope, and Sir John Delaval in a Performance of 'The Fair Penitent' by Nicholas Rowe
Date
? 1767
Location
Tiger Room
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
Overall height: 92 cm, Overall width: 142 cm
Artist
attributed to Benjamin Wilson (1721-1788)
Catalogue Number
DN52

Description

Nicholas Rowe’s tragedy The Fair Penitent, first performed in 1703, was among his most popular plays and a favourite performance of the Delavals in their amateur theatricals. The present painting may have been made in relation to the performance of 1767, which attracted considerable critical attention (see DN91). The moment depicted in the picture is from Act V, where Calista (Anne Delaval, Lady Stanhope), having offered to kill herself with the dagger, is restrained by her father, Sciolto (in life her own father, Sir John Delaval), who seizes her arm. It is suggested here, partly on stylistic grounds and the role played he also played in supporting the Delavals’ theatrical endeavours, that the painting is by Benjamin Wilson.

by Martin Postle

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