The Berger Collection

John Downman, ARA (ca. 1750-1824)
Portrait of Susan Rushbrooke, ca. 1778
Oil on copper
8 ¾ x 7 in. (22.22 x 17.78 cm)

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John Downman specialized in small, exquisitely painted portraits such as this work. We know only her name – Susan Rushbrooke – thanks to an inscription on the back. The portrait is painted on copper, as are many of Downman’s early works; he seems to have favored it for its smooth surface on which he could paint in minute detail on a small scale. Following the prevailing Neoclassical taste, he often posed his subjects in profile, a popular design because of its allusion to ancient Roman imperial coins.


Sir John Harrowing, Low Stakesby, Whitby, purchased between 1895 and 1937; by descent; Hazlitt Gooden & Fox, London

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