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Self-portrait 1753

Gervase Spencer

* c.1715 † 1763 in London

Two etchings. Size of sheets: 10.3 x 8 cm.; 13.1 x 10.4 cm.

The print with the title and production details is the fifth and final state. Lettered below image: "Sir I. Reynolds pinxt.", "se ipse sculp" and "George Spencer Miniature Painter".

Literature:  O'Donoghue 1908-25 1.

Together with an earlier version of this image with sketches of busts and faces below in the third state (of four), with whole easel, signature moved to right edge, blank background behind head. Lettered at right edge with production detail: "Ger Spencer, se ipse fecit 1753". (O'Donoghue 1908-25 2).

After the portrait of Spencer by Sir Joshua Reynolds. According to the DNB, a painting of Spencer by Reynolds was in a sale of the miniaturist's effects in 1797 and its whereabouts are now unknown. 



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Joshua Reynolds painted Spencer at work at his desk around 1750.  This portrait was in the sale of Spencer's effects in 1797 and was acquired by Edridge but is now lost. This etching by Spencer is a miniature copy of Reynolds's oil. Spencer also etched the composition at least twice, changing the composition and adding sketches of other figures below in a series of proofs. Some are inscribed along the right margin 'Ger Spencer sc ipse fecit 1753' while others are inscribed along the edge of the box lid 'Ger Spencer sc ipse f 1757'. The lettered version confirms Reynolds pinxt but mistakenly names the sitter as 'George' Spencer.

Condition report is available on request. 


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