Philip Jackson Esq.

John Downman (1750-1824)


Shown in part profile, this portrait depicts Philip Jackson as a prosperous well-built gentleman with a ruddy complexion wearing a powdered pig-tail wig.

The Jackson family moved from Essex to Houghton le Spring in Co. Durham when Philip Jackson Senior purchased Rainton Hall from the Earl of Strathmore. He and his wife Penelope Goodchild had nine children, Philip junior being their second son.

Philip Jackson was born at Rainton Hall in 1762. He was 37 years of age when he married twenty-year-old Catherine Williams in 1799, an event that in all likelihood prompted him to commission this portrait from the well-respected artist John Downman. The couple lived in Russell Square, London and do not appear to have had any children. Philip Jackson was 65 when he died in 1827 whilst at Brighton where he may have gone to recover his health. He was buried at the Foundling Hospital Cemetery suggesting he may have been a benefactor of the children’s home.

The portrait is in excellent condition and is set in the original gold frame that is glazed on the back to show two locks of brown hair tied with split seed pearls and laid on foiled blue glass with a further spray of hair on opalescent glass in a central aperture with a seed pearl surround.

Described as ‘the prettiest and most elegant of portrait painters of his age in chalk and watercolours’, John Downman (c.1750-1824) painted relatively few miniatures. The son of a Welsh attorney, he was educated in Chester and Liverpool before entering the Royal Academy schools. He exhibited at the Royal Academy between 1769 and 1819.

Item Ref. 7140

Size: framed, 76 x 62mm

Provenance: Phillips, November 2001