It reminds me of those formal Victorian studio portrait photographs which often have a formal park on a painted backdrop.
My mum remembered as a toddler being prompted to look at this painting and say ‘Granddad, pull your sock up!’
The urn of flowers is a corner of the painting that appeals to me. I can imagine the portrait being produced by a team, with one artist adding the floral flourishes.
When we drive past the gardens, I always find myself remembering my mum’s story that, when she was a baby, George would push her in her pram to the gardens but he complained that;
‘This baby always starts crying as soon as I get to the gates! And I have to turn around and bring her back to be fed.’
His good looks have come down through the generations and we’ve got photographs of one of his great great great grandsons standing by the portrait, hoop in hand looking very like his ancestor.
I had some difficulty photographing the painting because of the glossy varnish. Surprisingly, even though I had my camera on a tripod it came up with a ‘blink detected’ warning! I think it’s more likely that great granddad was winking at me.
There’s a clearer stamp from H. Hodgson of 39 West Street, Sheffield. It appears that Hodgson was a ‘Carvre & Gildre’, so presumably the carver and gilder who supplied the ornate frame.
If you’ve any ideas on that last line of Hodgson’s stamp, please let me know. Could that last word be ‘Stationer’?