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Jean Laurent Mosnier, 1743/44–1808, French, active in Britain (1790–96)

Margaret Callander and Her Son James Kearney

Former Title(s):

Margaret Callendar and Her Son James Kearney

A Portrait of Lady Callander and her son, James Kearney, both full-length, she wears a long white dress, he stands to the left and is in naval uniform, a landscape beyond.

A lady and her son [1796, Royal Academy of Arts, London, exhibition catalogue]

Oil on canvas
Support (PTG): 99 3/4 x 66 inches (253.4 x 167.6 cm)

Signed and dated, lower right: "JL mosnier 1795"

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Gift of Lowell Libson and Spink-Leger Pictures in honor of Brian & Katina Allen
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
bicorne hat | boy | costume | curtain | gesture | globe | mother | navy | pointing | portrait | son | woman
Associated People:
Callendar [née Romer], Lady Margaret (1757–1815), wife of Sir John Callendar, first baronet
Kearney (active late 18th century), son of Lady Margaret Callendar
On view in the galleries
IIIF Manifest:

Margaret Callander (née Romer) was the wife of John Callander of Westertown, Stirlingshire, who served as member of Parliament for Berwick-upon-Tweed from 1795 to 1802, and again from 1806 to 1807, and was created a baronet in 1798. James Kearney was her son from a previous marriage. The portrait shows the boy in naval uniform, with nautical instruments on the table nearby, and may commemorate his leaving home for a career at sea. The French portraitist Jean Laurent Mosnier had served as a miniature painter to Queen Marie Antoinette but fled France as a political émigré after the Revolution of 1789. He worked in London from early 1791 to 1796 and later resided in Hamburg and St. Petersburg. His work in Britain shows an interesting assimilation of characteristically British touches—the realism of the boy’s hair shedding powder onto his shoulder, for instance—to a basically French, neoclassical style of painting.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2016

David H. Solkin, Art on the Line : the Royal Academy Exhibitions at Somerset House 1780-1836, , Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, 2001, pp. 237-38, 239, fig. 215, N5054 A78 2001B (YCBA) [YCBA]

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