Sir George Warrender of Lochend, 4th Baronet
Silhouettes are also known as ‘shades’ or ‘shadows’, the latter term being particularly relevant when, as here, a silhouette has been reverse painted on convex glass and throws a shadow on to the backing. This portrait shows a young gentleman with short choppy hair wearing a shirt with a standing collar and stock. An inscription on the reverse names him as Sir George Warrender.
Born in Dunbar in 1782, George Warrender succeeded to the Baronetcy in 1799. He had just graduated from Christ Church Oxford before doing a Masters at Cambridge. He then embarked on a career in politics being elected to Parliament to represent various constituencies between Berwick and Truro. He also joined the local Berwickshire Militia and was appointed Lord of the Admiralty in 1822.
In his personal life, George was a gifted amateur musician and was renowned for his generous hospitality which earned him the nickname ‘George the Provender’. He married Anne Evelyn, the daughter of the 3rd Viscount Falmouth in 1810 but it was not a happy marriage and the couple had no children. During the 1830s his wife moved to France and George filed for divorce on the grounds of adultery. A lengthy court battle played out between the couple but without resolution. Sir George died in 1849 and was succeeded in the baronetcy by his brother.
The silhouette was painted during Sir George’s student days by William Rought (1775-1852) who was based in the Cornmarket, Oxford. Rought was by trade a wood turner (like his father, John) and a house painter. He moved from the Cornmarket following his marriage in 1833. His death notice in the Oxford Journal (March 1852) notes that he was formerly a captain of the Light Infantry Company in the Oxford Volunteers.
The silhouette is backed with card and sits in the original turned pear wood frame. It is backed with the artist’s trade label (no. 1). There is a small bruise to the paint on his jaw but otherwise the silhouette remains in good condition; the frame has a shallow chip to the edge at 7 o’clock.
Item Ref. 6445
Size: framed, 117 x 95mm (4⅞ x 3⅝")