A wonderful portrait of a gentleman holding a newspaper and pipe by Jonathan Pratt. The man, possibly an artist, is pictured sat in a spindle back arm chair and gazes directly out at the viewer. Displayed on the wall in the background can be seen some of his unframed artworks.
Jonathan Pratt was born at Bull Head Lane in Northampton on 27 April, 1835 to Joshua Pratt, a shoe maker and Rebecca Boys. He attended Lancastrian School in Northampton and showed an early talent for drawing and painting. At the age of 11, he went to Wolverhampton to be an apprentice to the portrait painter Robert Andrews, working with him at his studio in Waterloo Road.
After his apprenticeship was over, he began working as a full time artist in Lincolnshire where he met his wife Susana Strawson. They married on 6 November, 1856 at Claxby and moved to Leicester where their son, the artist Theophilus Claude Pratt (1860-1935) was later born. By 1861, the family had moved to 7 Camden Street in Doncaster where they lived for a few years until 1863 when they relocated to the Birmingham area.
Whilst Pratt initially worked as a portrait painter he developed his style and subject matter further to become a figurative painter, specialising in genre scenes. He started exhibiting in Birmingham from 1864 and made his debut at the Royal Academy in 1871. He also exhibited at Suffolk Street, the Royal Institute of British Artists, Glasgow Institute of Fine Art and other major galleries during his lifetime. His change of tack paid off and he became a successful artist. In 1872, he was made a Member of the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists and in 1873 became the Director of the Costume Academy. He later became secretary of the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists, remaining in post until the year of his death.
By 1881, Pratt had settled at 19 Greenfield Crescent, Edgbaston where he lived and worked for over a decade. After the death of his wife, he lived at Wylde Green in Sutton Coldfield with the artist William Joseph King and his wife. He died at 53, Highbridge Road, Wylde Green on 27 August 1911.
His works show extensive use and knowledge of his palette, working large areas of light and shade with subtle mid tones. His figures are natural in poise giving them character and life. Examples of his paintings are held by the Birmingham Museum, Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, Guernsey Museum, Guildhall Art Gallery, John Wesley’s House & The Museum of Methodism, Leicester Town Hall and the Wednesbury Museum & Art Gallery.
|Presentation||The painting is housed in a new, English made gilt frame which is in excellent condition. The reverse bears a label for Colmore Galleries, a fine art dealership, framers and restorers based at 52 High Street, Henley-in-Arden in Warwickshire. It was established in 1973 and continued to operate until the early 2000’s.|
|Condition||As with all of our original antique oil paintings, this work is offered in ready to hang gallery condition, having been professionally cleaned, restored and revarnished.|
|Image Size||13.5 inches x 9.5 inches (34.5cm x 24cm)|
|Framed Size||21 inches x 17 inches (53.5cm x 43cm)|