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Creator:
Arthur Devis, 1712–1787, British
Title:

John Orde, His Wife, Anne, His Eldest Son, William, and a Servant

Former Title(s):

John Orde, His Wife Anne, and His Eldest Son William

John Orde and His Second Wife Watching William Orde's Return From Shooting

John Orde and his Family

Wiliam Orde's Return form the Shoot

Date:
between 1754 and 1756
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
Support (PTG): 37 x 37 7/8 inches (94 x 96.2 cm)
Inscription(s)/Marks/Lettering:

Inscribed, center right, on letter: "To: John Orde | at Mo[?]t [?]"; center left, on newspaper: "The Daily Adv[vertiser]"

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
B2001.2.65
Classification:
Paintings
Collection:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
Chinese vases | fireplace | group portrait | hunting gun | leisure | letter | mantel | men | newspaper | painting (visual work) | pheasant | portrait | servant | woman
Associated People:
Orde, John (c.1704–c.1786) of East Orde and Morpeth
Orde, Anne (d. 1788), daughter of Ralph Marr of Morpeth, widow of the Revd Pye, and second wife of John Orde (c.1704–c.1786)
Orde, William
Access:
Not on view
Link:
https://collections.britishart.yale.edu/catalog/tms:38666
Export:
XML
IIIF Manifest:
JSON

Of the four full-length figures depicted here, one is unidentified: the young black servant, who enters on the right to deliver a letter. The letter is addressed to John Orde, a landowner in Morpeth, in northern England, who sits on the far left, looking up from his newspaper. Anne, his wife, receives a pheasant from her stepson William, who has just returned from hunting. Family portraits flank the chimney and the mantelpiece displays blue-and-white porcelain vases imported from China.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2016



From the open door at the right of this painting a servant enters carrying a letter. It is addressed to John Orde (ca. 1704–ca. 1786), a landowner based in Morpeth, in northern England. Orde, seated at the far left, has been reading the Daily Advertiser. Meanwhile, Anne, his second wife, receives the gift of a pheasant from her stepson William. On the wall behind them are two further portraits of Orde family members. The mantelpiece displays fashionable blue-and-white porcelain vases exported from China. No records of the servant depicted here have survived, but the fact that Devis charged his patrons for each figure painted suggests that this young man’s inclusion was important to the Ordes. While his green and gold livery is similar to that worn by white servants in this period, his luxurious silk turban deliberately marks him out.

Gallery label for Figures of Empire: Slavery and Portraiture in Eighteenth-Century Atlantic Britain (Yale Center for British Art, 2014-10-02 - 2014-12-14)



The Orde family lived in Morpeth, Northumberland, the northernmost county of England. Here the young William Orde is shown returning from a shoot, presenting a pheasant to his father and stepmother, Mr. and Mrs. John Orde. The father has before him what appears to be a legal document. At the same time, a black page in a yellow turban enters carrying a letter. The decision to combine these particular narrative details may have arisen from events known only to the family, always intended to be strictly private, and now entirely forgotten. Of particular interest to historians of domestic architecture and interior decoration are the height at which the small family portraits are hung on the wall at either side of the fireplace; the Rococo carved frames; the large Italianate landscape overmantel; and the nine small Chinese export blue-and-white vases on the mantelpiece.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2005
From the open door at the right of this painting a servant enters carrying a letter. It is addressed to John Orde (ca. 1704–ca. 1786), a landowner based in Morpeth, in northern England. Orde, seated at the far left, has been reading the Daily Advertiser. Meanwhile, Anne, his second wife, receives the gift of a pheasant from her stepson William. On the wall behind them are two further portraits of Orde family members. The mantelpiece displays fashionable blue-and-white porcelain vases exported from China. No records of the servant depicted here have survived, but the fact that Devis charged his patrons for each figure painted suggests that this young man’s inclusion was important to the Ordes. While his green and gold livery is similar to that worn by white servants in this period, his luxurious silk turban deliberately marks him out. This scene of polite family sociability contrasts with the caricature made by Thomas Orde, son of John and Anne, shown on the next page [James Bretherton, active 1770-–1781, after Thomas Orde, later Lord Bolton, 1746-–1807, High Life below Stairs, 1774, hand-colored etching]. Esther Chadwick, Meredith Gamer, and Cyra Levenson

Figures of Empire: Slavery and Portraiture in eighteenth-century Atlantic Britain, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 2014, p. 16, V 2556 (YCBA)



The Orde family lived in Morpeth, Northumberland. Here the young William Orde returns from shooting and presents his stepmother and father with a pheasant; the father has before him what appears to be a legal document. At the same moment a black servant arrives with a letter. The choice of these events as the basis of the portrait may have had some particular family significance that has been lost.

Malcolm Warner

Warner, Malcolm and John Baskett. The Paul Mellon Bequest : treasures of a lifetime. New Haven : Yale Center for British Art, 2001, p. 49

British Art at Yale, Apollo, v.105, no. 182, April 1977, p. 259, fig. 7, N5220 M552 A7 1977 OVERSIZE (YCBA) Published as April 1977 issue of Apollo; all of the articles may also be found in bound Apollo Volume [N1 A54 105:2 +]

Joseph Burke, English art 1714-1800, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1976, p. 302, pl. 80A, N6761 O9 9 (YCBA)

Robert Colls, This sporting life : sport and liberty in England, 1760-1960, Oxford University Press, Oxford, U.K., 2020, p. 372, GV706.35 .C65 2020 (LC) YCBA

Cyril Connolly, English Conquest in the Old Dominion, ART News, vol. 62, Summer 1963, pp. 30-3, N1 A6 OVERSIZE (HAAS)

Matthew Craske, Conversations and Chimneypieces: the imagery of the hearth in eighteenth-century English family portraiture, British Art Studies, Issue 2, Spring 2016, pages are unnumbered, fig. 4, Available Online (Orbis) http://dx.doi.org/10.17658/issn.2058-5462/issue-02/mcraske

Ellen G. D'Oench, Arthur Devis (1712-1787): master of the Georgian conversation piece, , University Microfilms International, Ann Arbor, Mich., 1982, pp. 115-16, 391, no. 123, pl. 116, NJ18 D5151 D635 1979A (YCBA)

Ellen G. D'Oench, The Conversation Piece: Arthur Devis & his contemporaries, , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 1980, pp. 23-25, 60, 86, cat. no. 31; AD list no. 123, col. pl. 31, NJ18 D5151 D64 OVERSIZE

Peter DeBolla, Education of the Eye, Painting, Landscape, and Architecture in Eighteenth-Century Britain , Stanford University Press, Stanford, 2003, p. 58, 60, 61, Fig. 12, YCBA BH221. G7 D4 2003

Ralph Edwards, Georgian Conversation Pictures, Apollo, v.105, no. 182, April 1977, p. 259, fig. 7, N1 A54 105:2 + (YCBA) Another copy of this article may be found in a separately bound and catalogued copy of this issue located on the Mellon Shelf [call number : N5220 M552 A7 1977 + (YCBA)]

Judy Egerton, British sporting and animal drawings c.1500-1850: A Catalogue, The Paul Mellon Collection , Tate Publishing, London, 1978, p. 59, NC780 B75 OVERSIZE (YCBA)

Judy Egerton, British Sporting and Animal Paintings 1655-1867: A Catalogue, The Paul Mellon Collection , Tate Publishing, London, 1978, pp. 59-60, no. 60, pl. 21, ND1383 G7 B75 OVERSIZE (YCBA)

Figures of Empire : Slavery and Portraiture in Eighteenth-Century Atlantic Britain, , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 2014, pp. 16, 42, V 2556 (YCBA)

Margaret Ann Hanni, The Marriage Portrait in eighteenth-century England [PhD Dissertation, Boston University], Ann Arbor, 1996, p. ix, 103, Cat no. 46, Film B148 YCBA

Kathryn James, English Paleography and Manuscript Culture, 1500-1800, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, New Haven, p. 187, fig. 238, Z115.E5 J36 2020+ (YCBA)

Sebastian Mitchell, James Thomson's picture collection and British history painting, Journal of the History of Collections, 2011, p. 6, V 2208 (YCBA) Full Text also Available on line (ORBIS)

Christopher Neve, Arthur Devis: A Minor English Master, Country Life (Archive 1901-2005), Time Inc. (UK) Ltd., London, 1972, p. 49, Fig. 13, Available online at Country Life Archive

Painting in England 1700-1850 from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, The Royal Academy of Arts Winter Exhibition 1964-65., , Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK, 1964, p.55 (v.1), no. 203, pl. 19, ND466 R68 1964/65 (YCBA) Also available on Microfiche: Fiche B214 (YCBA)

Painting in England 1700-1850, collection of Mr. & Mrs. Paul Mellon. , Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA, 1963, p. 118 (v.1), no. 223, pl. 72, ND466 V57 v.1-2 (YCBA)

Paul Mellon's Legacy, a passion for British art. [large print labels] , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 2007, v. 3, N5220 M552 +P381 2007, Mellon Shelf (YCBA)

Kate Retford, The Conversation Piece Making Modern Art in Eighteenth-Century Britain, Yale University Press, New Haven, 2017, p. 236, fig. 180, ND1314.4 .R48 2017 (LC) Oversize (YCBA)

Charles Saumarez Smith, Eighteenth-century decoration: design and the domestic interior in England, , Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London, 1993, pp. 200-01, no. 195, NK2043 A1 S28 1993 (YCBA)

Slavery and Portraiture in 18th-century Atlantic Britain, [ Website ] , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 2015, Available Online https://interactive.britishart.yale.edu/slavery-and-portraiture/

David H. Solkin, Art in Britain 1660-1815, Yale University Press, New Haven, 2015, pp. 113-14, fig. 115, N6766 S65 2015 OVERSIZE (YCBA)

Roy C. Strong, The British portrait, 1660-1960, Antique Collectors' Club, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 1991, pp. 142, 154, col. pl. 24, ND1314 B743 1991 (YCBA)

James Walvin, The slave trade, Thames & Hudson, New York, 2011, p. 81, HT985 .W358 2011 (YCBA)

Malcolm Warner, The Paul Mellon Bequest : treasures of a lifetime, , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 2001, p.49, N5247 M385 P28 2001 (YCBA)

Alice Winchester, English Conversation Pieces from the Mellon Collection, Antiques, vol. 83, April 1963, p. 445, NK1125 A3 v. 83 OVERSIZE (HAAS)

Yale University Art Gallery, Painting in England, 1700-1850, from the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, [exhibition at] Yale University Art Gallery, April 15-June 20, 1965. , vol. 1, W. Clowes and sons, New Haven, 1965, p. 21 (v.1), no. 74, pl. 19, ND466 Y35 (YCBA)


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