attributed to George Francis Joseph, Sarah Hussey Delaval, Mrs Gunman

Photo courtesy of Dave Penman (All rights reserved)


Country House
Doddington Hall
Sarah Hussey Delaval, Mrs Gunman
Stairs Leading To Second Floor And Landing
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
Overall height: 125 cm, Overall width: 100 cm
attributed to George Francis Joseph (1764-1846)
Catalogue Number


Sarah Hussey Delaval (by 1789–1825), was the only daughter and heir of Edward Delaval. Although her date of birth is unknown she was certainly alive by July 1789 when her father bequeathed in his will the interest he had acquired in Doddington Hall to both his wife and his daughter. In 1805 Sarah married James Gunman, who pre-deceased her by one year in 1824. As the wedding ring on her finger indicates, the portrait post-dates her marriage. As she was presumably in her twenties by that time, she was probably born sometime around 1780 to 1785.

The portrait refers to Sarah Delaval’s interest in music and literature, revealed by the music score of sonatas by Haydn on the table, on which rest several volumes, including works by Dante. Although the identity of the artist is unknown, it is attributed here on stylistic grounds to George Francis Joseph, who painted the portrait of her father in 1813 (DN77). The present portrait may also have been painted around this time.

by Martin Postle

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