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This portrait of the Bateson children is both an imposing conversation piece and a fascinating record of the interior of the Bateson home at Orangefield, Co. Down, near Belfast. Lowry executed the painting with the eye of a reporter, so detailed and accurate are the children’s costumes and the objects in the room. Originally thought to be by Philip Hussey, the current attribution is based upon documentary evidence of 1828 and 1865, which gives the picture to Lowry. Furthermore, the children’s large eyes, bland expressions and stiff poses accord with his style. Lowry, originally from Cumbria, arrived in Ireland around 1762 and worked in the country intermittently until the early 1780s, mainly in the north, though details of his movements are sketchy.
The Family of Thomas Bateson, Esq. (1705–1791)
oil on canvas
H 163.7 x W 264 cm