Family portraits

Family portraits

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Lachlan Macquarie
Jane Macquarie (nee Jarvis)
Elizabeth Macquarie (nee Campbell)
Lachlan Macquarie, the Younger

Lachlan Macquarie (1761-1824)

Lib_LEMR_MacquariePortrait

1805
Artist: John Opie (1761-1807)
Oil on canvas
(ML Ref: ML 37)

Original held by Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW. 
Reproduced with permission.


Provenance:

Presented to the Mitchell Library, Sydney, by Lieut. Col. Charles Greenhill Gardyne (1831-1923) in April 1914.

At that time James L. Caw, of the National Gallery of Scotland, attributed this portrait to the Scottish portrait painter John Graham-Gilbert (1794-1866). The evidence seems stronger however towards the English portrait painter John Opie (1761-1807). In 1781 Opie was introduced to London as the self-taught 'Cornish Wonder' by J. Wolcot. He achieved great popularity in the 1780's and was elected to the Royal Academy. He excelled in portraits, but was also known for his historical subjects and genre scenes. Lachlan Macquarie is known to have commissioned Opie to paint his portrait in early 1805.

Prior to the despatch and presentation of the Macquarie portrait to the Mitchell Library in 1914, it was arranged for Lieut. Col. Gardyne to receive a copy of the portrait. The work was to be made in Britain by an artist of his choice. This copy is in private hands in Scotland and there is an inscription on the back of the canvas that indicates that the artist selected was Emil Wehrschmidt. There is additional information, in Gardyne's handwriting, that indicates a revision in his thinking regarding the provenance of the original painting:

"Portrait of General Lachlan Macquarie by
JOHN 
GRAHAM GILBERT RSA
OPIE

COPY BY 
EMIL WEHRSCHMIDT M.E. 1914

The original was presented to the Trustees of the Mitchell Library Sydney & the State of New South Wales in April 1914. It was supposed to be by G. Graham Gilbert, but a letter of General Macquarie afterwards found showed that it was G John Opie [sic].

C G Gardyne July 1915"


In this inscription the name 'GRAHAM GILBERT' has been crossed out and the name 'OPIE' written underneath in correction.

There is corroborating evidence of Col. Gardyne's conviction that the portrait was by Opie in a letter he wrote on 25 July 1915 (?) [internal evidence in letter indicates during World War I but no specific year] to Archibald James Macquarie (1875-1945) (grand-nephew of Lachlan Macquarie) who had emigrated to Canada in the 1890s:

"Dear Macquarie

I was much interested in your's of the 17th May, which I would have answered sooner, but that I have been for 2 months in bed, but I am now able to be up a little and have received your's of the 12th July - I will answer it first - The "Oban Times" asked me to let them photograph the portrait of your Grand-uncle at the time when there was some discussion about the General. The picture which is by Opie and a very good one was given to me by the widow of the General's son Lauchlan (who was a Campbell of Jura) She asked me to give it a home and to take care of it - When I sold Glenforsa House (now Grulen) I gave it the place of honour here - seven or eight years ago the trustees of the Mitchell Library, Sydney, which is also the National Picture Gallery of N.S.Wales - approached me with a view of purchasing the portrait of the greatest governor of their Colony, where his name is perpetuated in the Macquarie River, Macquarie Street, Mrs Macquarie's Walk & others - I refused to sell it, because I felt, that it had been given into my charge by the General's daughter in law and I felt this charge to be sacred, but I offered a copy.This they declined but were prepared to give a large sum for the original. On mature consideration however, I thought that the portrait of the great governor might find a more fitting home where he was so highly appreciated and so widely known than in the narrow circle of my dining room, and I felt that this would have been more in consonance with his own feelings & that of his family - I therefore presented it to the Colony in the only condition that they should give me a copy by an artist of my choice - I received the thanks of the N.S.W. government & the trustees of the Mitchell Library who also gave me a silver cup as a remembrance - The copy which is very artistic & [?], has taken the place of the original in this house. In this way I hope I have fulfilled my charge in a manner which would have been satisfactory to the donor - at the same time Mrs Macquarie gave me a number of other things, the most interesting and valuable of which were the 2 Government House chairs - and as there was no special charge with regard to these things I gave them to your father....

C.G.Gardyne"


Historical Context:

In his journal for 20 April 1805 Macquarie records that he had recently had a half-length portrait of himself painted by Mr Opie "one of the most eminent artists now in London, and to whom I have paid 28 Guineas for it - This Picture is reckoned by everyone who has seen it very like me".
(Lachlan Macquarie. Journal. Mitchell Library ML Ref: MSS A770 pp.575-6)

If this is the portrait painted by Opie in early 1805, Lachlan Macquarie would have been 44 years of age. He originally intended it as a keepsake for his mother and indicates in the same journal entry that it "is so still in case of any accident befalling me in her life-time; but in the meantime, my sister Mrs. Morley having expressed a particular desire to keep it, I could not refuse her so slight a favor where so kindly intended."

Mrs Morley was his sister-in-law (by his first marriage to Jane Jarvis).

The silver colour of his hair is not necessarily an indication of aging: he was painted as he appeared at the Royal Court, wearing either a silver-grey wig or with his natural hair powdered. In the period from July 1803 until March 1805 Macquarie had been serving on the staff of the Earl of Harrington as assistant adjutant-general for the London Military District.

Lib_LEMR_LachlanMacquarie

Lachlan Macquarie

c.1818 - 1819
Miniature
(ML Ref: MIN 236)
Watercolour on ivory
Size: 3 1/4" x 2 5/8" inside wooden frame

Unsigned and undated

Original held by Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW. 
Reproduced with permission.


Provenance

All three miniatures were presented to the Mitchell Library, Sydney, by Miss M. Bather Moore and Mr T.C. Bather Moore in May 1965.

Historical Context

John Cliffe Watts, 46th Regiment, served as Macquarie's aide-de-camp from 1814-1819. He lived in close proximity with the Macquaries throughout these years and came to be regarded as one of the family. In recognition of their friendship with Watts, Lachlan and Elizabeth Macquarie presented him with a set of miniatures of themselves and baby Lachlan - presumably c.1818.

Lib_LEMR_LachlanMacquarie2

LACHLAN MACQUARIE

c.1815 - 1821
Miniature
(ML Ref: MIN 71)
Watercolour on ivory
Size: 4" x 3 1/4" inside wooden frame

Unsigned and undated

Original held by Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW.
Reproduced with permission.


Provenance

On the frame are the remnants of labels inscribed: "Maj. Gen. Lachlan Macquarie 1761-1824 Gov. of N.S.W. 1810-21", and "Presented by Macquarie to Lt Wm. Lawson." This miniature, along with a companion work of Elizabeth Macquarie (ML Ref MIN 70) were subsequently presented to the Mitchell Library by F.W. Lawson in 1928.

Lib_LEMR_Lachlan18221822
Artist: Richard Read Snr.(c.1765 - c.1828)
Watercolour
(ML Ref: ML36)
Size: 28.8 cm x 24.3 cm
oval on sheet
35.3 cm x 30.4 cm

Original held by Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW. 
Reproduced with permission.


Provenance:

This is the only fully authenticated portrait of Lachlan Macquarie. On the front of the frame are the words "Finished from Life by Read Senr., Feby. 11, 1822."

On the back of the picture is the inscription: "Sydney, 1822. Take notice that none are Original pictures of Governor Macquarie but what has got the name of Read marked in Latin on the seal annext. Governor Macquarie never sat to any artist in this Colony but Read Senr. Lego artist." [red wax seal]

The seal is intact and shows a male head facing towards the right.There is only one other portrait in existence with the "Lego" signature - and this is a portrait bearing the date 1823. It has been tentatively identified as Lachlan Macquarie Jnr. as a boy.

Historical context

Before the Macquarie's left the colony on 15 February 1822 the Sydney Gazette (8 February) recorded that Read had finished a portrait "on canvas" of Governor Macquarie that is "pronounced to be the best performance that has yet come forth from the pencil of that Artist, and will afford to every beholder as faithful a delineation of feature and expression as could possibly be exhibited on canvas."

The work had been commissioned by the Judge Advocate John Wylde.

The newspaper also noted that Read had been engaged to paint a portrait of Macquarie to be "placed in the Town Hall at Windsor."

Fifteen months later there was the following advertisement in the Sydney Gazette:
"Mr READ, sen. respectfully informs the Friends of General MACQUARIE, that he has just finished some Portraits which are framed and glazed, forming a neat furniture picture. The Likeness is admitted a most striking one, being finished from the life. They are now on Sale at No.25, Upper Pitt-street, at the back of Mr Wilshire's."

The watercolour portrait (dated 11 February) in the Mitchell Library is not the 1822 original (for no oil on canvas portraits by Read are now known), but appears to be a certified copy of that original, or one of the copies made in 1823.

Lib_LEMR_Lastportrait

The Last Portrait

..."I have had my Portrait painted lately, and after being handsomely framed and carefully packed up first in tin and afterwards in a strong wooden case, it has been shipped off a few days ago for New South Wales, addressed to Mr Cox and you - I do not know the name of the Ship - but that I will inform you of in my next letter - I hope it will come safe to hand, as it is an excellent likeness. Be so good as to write to me when it arrives."

Extract from a letter: Lachlan Macquarie to Richard Fitzgerald 
[London, 10 October 1823].

R. Fitzgerald Papers 1821 - 1838
Mitchell Library, Sydney. (ML MSS: 1895X) (CY2755 - frame#12).


Historical Context

There appears to be no further trace of this portrait that Macquarie despatched to New South Wales. Claims that the portrait hanging in Windsor Court House, NSW may be this missing portrait remain unsubstantiated.


Other Portraits:

Elizabeth Macquarie, in her 1825 letter to Rev and Mrs Cowper (and other friends in New South Wales) mentions that prior to his death her husband had sent her a letter from London (dated 14 May 1824) in which he mentioned that 'You may depend on my writing to out friends in New South Wales' and that it was his desire to 'send each of them a set of our lithographic portraits, but they are really too frightful to be given to our friends.'

There are no further records of these 'lithographic portraits.'

In the same letter Elizabeth Macquarie, when describing Lachlan's death, records the fact that their friend Sir Charles Forbes'had a cast taken, which is the same as himself. I could not trust myself with it at first, but now it is my valuable possession.'

The whereabouts of this death mask are unknown today.

Jane Jarvis (1772 - 1796)

Lib_LEMR_JanesJarvisArtist: Unknown
Watercolour
(ML Ref: MIN 127)

Original held by Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW.
Reproduced with permission.


Provenance

Presented by Lieut. Col. C.F.C. Jarvis of Doddington Hall, Lincoln through M.H. Ellis in 1958.

Historical Context

Jane Jarvis was born 16 October 1772, the youngest daughter of Thomas Jarvis, the Chief Justice and Member of Council of the island of Antigua. She met Lachlan Macquarie in Bombay in November1792. At the time she was acting as companion to her sister Dorothea who had recently married James Morley, a successful merchant and member of the Bombay Council. She was aged twenty, attractive and cultivated, with brown hair, blue eyes, and an endowment of £6000. Macquarie was smitten by her, and they married on 8 September 1793. They bought a house at Calicut, 500 miles south of Bombay on the Malabar coast, which they named 'Staffa House' and they settled into domestic routine and regimental responsibilities. Macquarie only intended to stay in India a further six years, until he had gained his majority and saved and invested enough to bring him five hundred pounds per year.

In January 1796 Macquarie was ordered to join the British forces fighting in Ceylon. In March 1796 he received news that Jane was in a delicate state of health and gained permission to return to her. When he arrived home in May 1796 it was clear that she was seriously ill. Heeding medical advice that sea air might help her condition he booked passage to China. Jane was convinced that her condition was a a result of her pregnancy but in fact she was dying of tuberculosis. By the time they reached Macao she was barely able to walk and she died at 5 am on Friday 15 July 1796 at the age of twenty three.

Lib_LEMR_JarvisJane Jarvis ?
Artist: Unknown
Date: Unknown
Watercolour
(ML Ref P* 92)
Gold oval mount

Original held by Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW.
Reproduced with permission.


Provenance
One of a set of eight miniatures of Governor Macquarie and his family circle. None of the miniatures is signed There are two gold-coloured metal plaques in the centre of the mount that briefly relate the history of Macquarie and his son. Only three of the subjects are identified on the gold frames: "Gen. Macquarie," "Mrs Macquarie," and "Lachlan Macquarie". Five of the eight miniatures have samples of hair intertwined in the back of the frames.

Historical Context
This unidentified woman bears a strong resemblance to Macquarie's first wife Jane Jarvis. 

Elizabeth Henrietta Campbell (1778 - 1835)

Lib_LEMR_ElizabethArtist: Unknown
Miniature on ivory
1/4" x 2 5/8"
Undated

Original held by Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW.
Reproduced with permission.

Provenance
One of three miniatures (ML Ref: MIN 236-238) which were presented to the Mitchell Library in 1965 by Miss M. Bather Moore and her brother T.C. Bather Moore, descendants of Lt. J.C. Watts, Macquarie's aide-de-camp (1814-1819).

Lachlan Macquarie, The Younger (1814 - 1845)

Lib_LEMR_LachlanBabyc.1817-1818
Artist: Unknown
Miniature on ivory
1/4" x 2 5/8" inside wooden frame
(ML Ref: MIN 238)

Original held by Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW.
Reproduced with permission.

Provenance
This miniature, and the two of his parents (ML Ref: MIN 236-237) were gifts from Lachlan Macquarie to Capt. J.C. Watts, his aide-de-camp from 1814-1819.

Historical Context
Lachlan Macquarie, the Younger was born on 29 March 1814. This miniature shows him aged 3-4 years of age.


Lib_LEMR_LachlanJuniorLachlan Macquarie Jnr.?
1822?

Artist: Richard Read, Senior (c.1765 - ?)
Watercolour
17.3 cm x 13.1 cm
inside frame lines
Untitled

Original held by Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW.
Reproduced with permission.

Provenance
This portrait was identified by M.H.Ellis as "Lachlan Macquarie, the younger" in the Appendix to his biography of Lachlan Macquarie (1952). The painting was presented to the Mitchell Library by Mr. E. A. Crome.

There is a faded inscription on the right of the figure that could be "Read fecit"; while in the lower left corner below the frame line in faded ink is the inscription "Lego Snr. pinx.t" and dated either 1823 or 1813. (The date is written in the same ink but with a heavier stroke, and may have been added later. It has also been retouched in heavy pencil).

Historical context
The child in the portrait looks 6-8 years of age. If this is a portrait of Lachlan Macquarie,the Younger, the dates of 1813 or 1823 are both problematical. The first date is completely untenable as he was not born until 1814; while the later date is inaccurate since the Macquarie's left New South Wales in February 1822.

It would not be unreasonable to assume that Read completed a portrait of young Lachlan. He received many commissions from public officials, merchants, traders, and wealthy settlers, and there are surviving examples of some of these portraits, including, Judge Barron Field, Mrs Elizabeth Marsden, the poet Michael Massey, and the twenty-first birthday portrait of Miss Julia Johnston (1824). See also the discussion by Anne Robertson in Treasures of the State Library of New South Wales: the Australiana Collections. Sydney: Collins, 1988 pp.41-42.

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