Colin introduces his website:
'MissingPortraits.info is a site devoted to so-called ‘orphan’ portraits. Starting with my own family, of whom a surprising number of portraits have been painted which then vanished from sight, my aim is to open the site to all who have lost touch with, or found, portraits.'
Portraiture is peculiar. At the time a portrait is made, the most important thing, at least to sitter, family and friends, is how good a likeness it is. In no time at all, however, Colonel Blimp of the Bluffshires has been demoted to the ranks of 'A gentleman in a red coat'. Then it is all a matter merely of how good the painting is, even supposing that the name of the artist had been retained. And so let's hope that Colin's initiative will develop, with contributions and links, so that hidden knowledge can be shared, names returned to gentlemen in red coats, and artists reunited with their sitters.
Talking of which…
A major Hogarth discovery will feature in the next British Art Journal, in Gwen Yarker's introduction to her exhibition 'Georgian Faces: portrait of a County' at the Dorset County Museum, Dorchester, 15 January-30 April 2011