Banker at Barings: History of Barings book ISBN: 0002175088
Sent Harry Douglas Forsyth to New York to learn merchant banking at Baring Brothers.
The Manor House, Hampshire, UK
His estate was worth £327,675£5,000 left to Eliza JanetLondon residence: 24 Prince's gateand 1 South Audley StreetThe English artist Frederic Leighton is celebrated for the large-scale paintings of mythological subjects that he made in the 1870s and 1880s, as well as the more abstract figurative arrangements and personifications, of which Flaming June (Museode Arte de Ponce, Puerto Rico) is the most famous. He was also a portraitist, although works of this type are relatively few. It is a very exciting event when a double portrait by Leighton of two sisters- the daughters of one of his closestfriends and women of whom Leighton knew well- emerges from obscurity. The present painting has not been seen in a public exhibition since shortly after the artist's death more than a hundred years ago, and was untraced since the one occasion thatit has been sold at auction, in 1964. It is a painting of tender sentiment, showing the two women expressing their mutual affection by winding their arms around each other. The portrait shows the sisters Mary Caroline Seymour Hughes and Agatha Ulick Browne, daughters of James and Gertrude Agatha Stewart Hodgson. It is not clear which of the two sitters is which- the girl sitting on the left is seen to be wearing awedding ring, but in fact both Mary Caroline and Agatha had recently married at the time the portrait was painted. The title given to the painting- The Misses Stewart Hodgson- seems to imply that it was conceived as a double portrait to mark theoccasion of each girl's wedding. According to the index of Leighton's principal works in Mrs Russell Barrington's Life, Letters and Work of Frederic Leighton (1906), the double portrait was painted in 1888. James Stewart Hodgson (1827-c. 1901) andhis wife Gertrude Agatha (who was the daughter of William Forsyth Q.C.) had married in 1862. The girls were probably born in the mid-1860s, and were therefore in their early twenties when Leighton painted them. Agatha married George Ulick Browne in 1887. He later inherited the title of Earl of Altamont, and in 1913 became the 6th Marquess of Sligo. The Sligos lived at Westport House in County Mayo in Ireland and in London, where they had a house in UpperBelgrave Street. Agatha had four children- Eileen Agatha, Moya Melisende, Doreen Geraldine, and lastly Ulick de Berghe, who succeeded his father as 7th Marquess of Sligo in 1935. Agatha's sister Mary Caroline married Hugh Seymour Bulkeley LewisHughes in 1885. They had a daughter, and lived at Kinmel Park, Abergele, Denbighshire. James Stewart Hodgson and Leighton had known each other since the late 1850s, when they had been fellow-members of the Hogarth Club. That Stewart Hodgson should have been pleased to join such an association- which was formed by latter-dayPre-Raphaelites and other young painters and which provided both a convivial meeting place and exhibition venue, and to which professional painters and architects as well as amateurs and enthusiasts belonged- demonstrates his commitment to thearts. The Hogarth was to be associated in the public mind with progressive ideas about the arts, and was a forcing ground for the principles of the aesthetic movement. Stewart Hodgson began to buy paintings from Leighton very shortly after their first meeting. He was the owner of the seminal work Lieder ohne Worte (Tate Gallery) of 1860-61 in which Leighton carried forward the principle of denying narrativeassociations and any kind of documentary information about the sense represented, in favour of a noumenal mood and sense of ambiguous otherworldliness. This work was shown at the Royal Academy in 1861, by which time it may have already enteredStewart Hodgson's collection. A year later he bought Leighton's Sisters (private collection; Christopher Newall, The Art of Frederic Leighton, Oxford, 1990, p. 22), a painting which shows the affectionate relationship between a child and a youngwoman, and which may have prompted the suggestion that the same artist should later paint portraits of girls and young women which might be imbued with something of the same feeling of intimacy between female siblings. In due course, Stewart Hodgson was made a partner in the London banking firm Barings, and he seems to have become remarkably prosperous. He had a country house called Lythe Hill, near Haslemere on the North Downs, and also a townhouse in SouthAudley Street in Mayfair. In addition he owned a landed estate at Gavel Acre, Longparish, Hampshire. At Lythe Hill he hung Leighton's largest canvas, The Daphnephoria (Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight), upon which the artist had worked for atleast two years in the mid-1870s. In the drawing room of the London house were Leighton's two decorative friezes Music and Dance (both now at Leighton House Museum). In about 1877, some eleven years before the present double portrait was painted,Leighton was commissioned to paint a full length portrait of James and Gertrude Agatha Stewart Hodgson's youngest daughter, Ruth, then aged about three (private collection; exhibited Royal Academy of Arts, Leighton, 1996, no.74). The portrait ofRuth Stewart Hodgson has been first shown at the second summer exhibition of the Grosvenor Gallery in 1878. Stewart Hodgson followed Leighton's recommendations to buy paintings by contemporary artists such as George Heming Mason, Giovanni Costa,and W.E.F. Britten. James Stewart Hodgson seems to have been badly affected by the disastrous Barings crash of 1890. Three years later, in June 1893, Hodgson sold the subject paintings by Leighton in his collection- including The Daphnephoria and Lieder ohne Worte,but seems to have retained the two portraits of his three daughters, presumably regarding them as works of fondest association.
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