The Family Pet

Anne Charlotte Turnbull


Born in Norfolk in 1800, Anne Charlotte Fayerman was married to Walter Turnbull when she painted this portrait of a young family relative. Her marriage to Walter did not produce any children so M. H. Turnbull was probably her nephew.

The child is wearing a pale pink dress – young boys traditionally wore dresses at this time whilst pink was seen as a strong colour and so favoured for boys whilst girls more usually had blue trimmings on their dresses. He is seated with his devoted spaniel before a classical column in a garden landscape with a rambling rose and a riverscape view beyond.

Anne married Walter Turnbull in 1827. The couple shared a love for music: Walter was a composer whilst Anne went on to publish songs and poetry. Following Walter’s death in 1837 she married Valentine Bartholomew with whom she shared a love of art. Valentine was a well-known flower painter and this influenced Anne to also paint flowers and fruit though small portraiture remained her first love. She also turned her hand to writing plays one of which was performed at a London theatre in 1849. Anne was an influential figure within the art world and a strong advocate for women artists. She persuaded the Royal Academy to open its schools to women and was a founder member of the Society of Female Artists where she exhibited until 1862, the year she died.

The portrait is set with a metal mount in the original gilded metal frame. The reverse has a velvet covering so the portrait has not been opened to check for a signature. The portrait has some fading but remains nonetheless a charming and sensitively painted example of child portraiture.

Item Ref. 6451

Size: framed, 175 x 142mm

Provenance: Mak can Waay, Amsterdam, June 1935 ; Private Collection, Germany