A well-executed portrait of a young boy playing a flute attributed to Thomas Barker of Bath. The boy wears a white, frill collared shirt and holds a wooden flute in his hands.
Thomas Barker was born near Pontypool in Monmouthshire in 1769, the son of Benjamin Barker an artist and enamel painter. His brother was the artist Benjamin Barker II (1776-1838) and two of his sons John Joseph Barker (1811-1886) and Thomas Jones Barker (1815–1882) also became artists. They became known as the ‘Barkers of Bath’ family of artists.
Barker showed an early talent for drawing and when he was 15, after the family moved to Bath, he secured the patronage of Charles Spackman, a wealthy coach-builder and his father’s employer. This allowed him to develop his talent and studying the Old Masters as well as artists such as Thomas Gainsborough whom he admired greatly. Strachman opened a gallery in 1790 to display his work and also sent him on a Grand Tour to continue his education. Barker returned to England around 1793 where he lived in London for a time. By 1800 he had moved back to Bath where he later married Priscilla Jones.
He was a prolific artist and exhibited at the Royal Academy and the British Institution over a fifty year period. He also exhibited in Bristol and Bath. Barker was one of the first British artists to produce a series of lithographs published in Bath in 1813 by a single artist.
He died in Bath on 11 December 1847. Examples of his work can be found in public collections including the Bristol Museum, Hereford Museum & Art Gallery, Leeds Museum, Pontypool Museum, Sheffield Museum, the Tate, V&A and the Victoria Museum, Bath.
The painting is housed in a period gilt frame which is in excellent condition.
|Image Size||17.5 inches x 13.5 inches (44.5cm x 34.5cm)|
|Framed Size||26.75 inches x 22.75 inches (68cm x 58cm)|