Margaret Sarah Carpenter (1793-1872) | Portrait / Genre painter

Margaret Sarah Carpenter (Salisbury 1793 - 13 November 1872 London), born Margaret Sarah Geddes, was a British painter🎨. Noted in her time, she mostly painted portraits in the manner of Sir Thomas Lawrence. She was a close friend of Richard Parkes Bonington.
  • Early life
She was born in Salisbury, the daughter of Captain Alexander Geddes, who was of an Edinburgh family, and Harriet Easton. She was taught art by a local drawing-master. Her first art studies were made from the pictures at Longford Castle, belonging to Lord Radnor.


  • Career
In 1812, one of her copies of the head of a boy was awarded🎨 a medal by the Society of Arts, who awarded her another medal in 1813, and a gold medal in 1814 She went to London in 1814, and soon established her reputation as a fashionable portrait painter.
She exhibited a portrait of Lord Folkestone at the Royal Academy in 1814, and a picture entitled ‘The Fortune Teller’ at the British Institution.
She exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy between 1818 and 1866.
She also exhibited at the British Institution and at the Suffolk Street Gallery.
Of her Head of a Polish Jew, exhibited at the British Institution in 1823, a reviewer wrote:
"It very rarely happens that a specimen of art like this is produced from the hand of a lady: Here are colour, light, strength and effect, and anatomical drawing".

This painting was bought for 45 guineas by the Marquess of Stafford, one of the most influential art patrons of the day, who had previously bought her medal-winning painting of 1813.
The Picture has recently resurfaced at auction (with some fire damage) and been purchased back by a family relative in December 2013 for restoration.
Among her exhibited portraits were those of Sir H. Bunbury (1822), Lady Denbigh (1831), and Lady King (better known as Ada Lovelace) (1835).
Her last work was a portrait of Dr. Whewell.
Three of her works are in the National Portrait Gallery, including portraits of her husband, Bonington and John Gibson, R.A..
There are also several 'leaving portraits' by her in the collection at Eton College. There is also one of her portraits at Frewen College, of Helen Louisa Frewen and her son Edward.
Her "Portrait of a Lady" hangs in the Neill-Cochran House Museum in Austin, Texas.
Her portraits follow in the tradition of Lawrence, but Wood found them to be more fanciful and feminine character, particularly in her portraits of children.


  • Family
In 1817, she married William Hookham Carpenter, Keeper of Prints and Drawings at the British Museum. Their children included two noted painters, another William and Percy Carpenter, who both travelled. She introduced her sister Harriet to the young painter William Collins.
They eventually married, making Margaret the aunt to Wilkie Collins, novelist and friend to Charles Dickens.
On her husband's death in 1866, she was given an annual pension of £100 by Queen Victoria.
This award was partly based on her husband's service, but also in recognition of her own artistic merits.
She died in London in her 80th year. | © Wikipedia





Margaret Sarah Carpenter, all’anagrafe Margaret Sarah Geddes, (Salisbury 1793 - Londra, 13 Novembre 1872), è stata una pittrice Britannica🎨.
Nata in Inghilterra nel 1793, Margaret Sarah Carpenter sin da giovanissima mostra la sua predisposizione ed il suo talento per l’arte; prende lezioni di disegno e di pittura con un maestro locale e si perfeziona, in parte, come autodidatta.
Nel corso del tempo Margaret Sarah Carpenter si specializza nella ritrattistica seguendo lo stile del celebre ritrattista britannico, Sir Thomas Lawrence, quarto presidente della Royal Academy.
I suoi dipinti ottengono buoni apprezzamenti e riconoscimenti da parte dei più importanti esponenti della società dell’epoca, tanto che nel 1813 viene premiata con una medaglia dalla Society of Arts e, l’anno successivo,  nel 1814 le viene conferita una medaglia d’oro.
Nel 1812 Margaret Sarah Carpenter si trasferisce a Londra dove si afferma come ritrattista ed esibisce le sue opere presso la Royal Academy, tutti gli anni, a partire dal 1814 fino al 1866.
Tra i suoi dipinti più celebri: "Portrait of Lady Harriet Georgiana Brudenell, Countess Howe" (1834), "Portrait of Richard Parkes Bonington"; "Portrait of Ada Lovelace" (1836).
Nel 1817 sposa William Hookham Carpenter, custode presso il British Museum. Dal matrimonio nascono due figli, William e Percy Carpenter, entrambi si affermarono come pittori.
Nel 1866, a seguito della morte del marito le viene concessa dalla regina Vittoria una pensione di cento sterline, sia per il servizio svolto dal marito presso British Museum, e sia come sorta di riconoscimento per il suo talento e la sua attività artistica.
Margaret Sarah Carpenter muore il 13 Novembre del 1872 a Londra, all’età di circa ottanta anni.



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