Gallery

Gallery: 
Attributed to George Clint, 1770 – 1854
PORTRAIT OF MARIA "FOOTE" STANHOPE, COUNTESS of HARRINGTON (1797-1867) as Maria Darlington in "A Roland for An Oliver"
MARIA "FOOTE" STANHOPE, COUNTESS of HARRINGTON
Signed/Inscribed: 

circa 1825, inscription to verso in red ink 'Miss foote, Darlington', and numbered "14488"

oil on board
9.20 x 9.20 cm. (3.62 x 3.62 in.)

Provenance

The Late Robert Hardy CBE, FSA, 1925 –  2017, Actor

Literature

An engraved portrait of Maria Foote in the role of Maria Darlington, wearing a similar costume and garlanded veil, by Thomas Morton (1764-1838) was published in 1826.

Notes

Foote, Maria [married name Maria Stanhope, countess of Harrington] (1797–1867), actress, was born at Plymouth on 24 July 1797, the daughter of Samuel T. Foote, a theatre manager, and his wife, a Miss Hannington, of Twyford, Hertfordshire. In July 1810 she appeared at her father's Plymouth theatre as Juliet, and on 26 May 1814 she made her début at Covent Garden as Amanthis in The Child of Nature (adapted by Elizabeth Inchbald from the French of Madame de Genlis). In this part, which was particularly suited to her abilities, she was widely acclaimed. She performed in every season at Covent Garden until 1825, and in 1826 made her first appearance at Drury Lane. Indefatigable in touring, she is said to have performed in the English provinces, Scotland, and Ireland every year for five years. She was, however, more notable for her beauty than her talents: Macready recorded that, for the original production of Sheridan Knowles's Virginius (17 May 1820), 'the lovely Miss Foote' played Virginia, and that, 'thankfully accepting my tuition, [she] produced the most pleasing effect by aiming at none' (Macready's Reminiscences, 1.209). John Genest wrote that 'she was a very pretty woman and a very pleasing actress, but she never would have travelled about as a star if it had not been for circumstances totally unconnected with the stage' (Genest, 9.358–9).

In 1815 Maria Foote had become the mistress of Colonel William Berkeley, later Earl Fitzhardinge (1786–1857), 'a sort of tenth-rate Rochester' (GEC, Peerage), with whom she had two children. A promise of marriage was given, but, when it did not occur, in June 1824 Maria broke off the relationship. She then received an offer of marriage from Joseph ‘Pea-Green’ Hayne of Burderop Park, Wiltshire; she ended her theatrical contract, but Hayne too eventually refused to marry her, claiming not to have known of her relationship with Berkeley until Berkeley, in a fit of pique, told him about it. Maria Foote sued Hayne for breach of promise on 21 December 1824, and secured £3000 in damages, having proved that Hayne had renewed his offer of marriage after his interview with Berkeley and after Maria had given custody of her children to her former lover. The case caused a sensation, and was taken up by pamphleteers. Following the failure of her matrimonial scheme, Maria Foote returned in February 1825 to the stage at Covent Garden, where the notoriety of her personal life ensured full houses. She made her last appearance in Birmingham on 11 March 1831. On 7 April 1831 she married Charles Stanhope, fourth earl of Harrington (1780–1851), at his family seat, Elvaston Hall, Derbyshire. They had a son, who died at the age of four, and a daughter, who lived to marry the third Marquess Conyngham. Unable to move in society, Lady Harrington lived in virtual seclusion at Elvaston Hall. She died from bronchitis at her home, 2 Richmond Terrace, Whitehall, London, on 27 December 1867. Joseph Knight, revised by K. D. Reynolds DNB

George Clint, (1770–1854), theatrical genre painter and engraver, was born in London at Brownlow Street, Holborn, on 12 April 1770, the son of Michael Clint, a hairdresser in Lombard Street, and his first wife. The family came from Hexham in Northumberland. Clint received a simple education in Yorkshire. He had several false starts before taking up painting, first as a fishmonger's apprentice, then in an attorney's office, and finally as a house-painter. During this period he married his first wife, the daughter of a small farmer in Berkshire, with whom he had five sons and four daughters. Clint began as a miniature painter with a painting room in Leadenhall Street, London. From Edward Bell, the nephew of John Bell the publisher, a mezzotint engraver best-known for his plates after George Morland, Clint learned the technique of mezzotint engraving that he practised throughout his career. Among his early engravings are The Frightened Horse after George Stubbs, and The Death of Nelson after W. Drummond. The precise date when Clint embarked on an artistic career is uncertain, but from the path of his development and the date of his first oil painting exhibited at the Royal Academy (1802) it can probably be assigned to the mid-1790s. From his wife's approach to Sir William Beechey for an opinion on his first attempt at oil painting, a portrait of his wife, a lasting friendship grew between Clint and Beechey. At about this time Clint's friend Samuel Reynolds, the mezzotint engraver, advised him to take up watercolour portraiture. Clint eked out his income by painting copies of prints after Morland and David Teniers, and many copies of The Enraged Bull and The Horse Struck by Lightning by Stubbs. Sir Thomas Lawrence was impressed by Clint's engraving skills and gave Clint several of his portraits to engrave. A misunderstanding over the engraving of Lawrence's portrait of Lord Ellenborough which Clint believed had been promised to him but which Lawrence disposed elsewhere led to a rupture in their relationship that damaged Clint's engraving practice.

A significant event in Clint's career was his engraving of G. H. Harlow's theatrical painting The Trial Scene from ‘Henry VIII’ with portraits of the Kemble family, published in January 1819. Harlow's picture was an attempt to raise the status of theatrical genre painting to that enjoyed by history painting. Clint's engraving of this work established his reputation for treating theatrical subjects. Clint practised as a portrait painter throughout his career, but is chiefly remembered for his theatrical scene paintings. He also painted numerous theatrical portraits. His principal patrons were Lord Egremont and the celebrated actor Charles Mathews the elder. Between 1802 and 1817 the Royal Academy catalogues show that he frequently changed his studio address (all in London), suggesting that his commissions during this period were haphazard and uncertain. From 1817 he remained for over twenty years at 83 Gower Street, London. Throughout the 1820s he exhibited at the Royal Academy a number of theatrical scenes with portraiture from a scene in The Clandestine Marriage (1819) to a scene from Love, Law and Physic (1830; both Garrick Club, London). The most ambitious of these works is his large painting of Edmund Kean in A New Way to Pay Old Debts (1820; Garrick Club), which approaches the scale of a history painting, but he did nothing else in the same vein. His works of this period generally derive from ephemeral comedies and farce. Clint was elected an associate of the Royal Academy in 1821 presumably on the strength of his scene from Lock and Key (Garrick Club), exhibited in the same year.

In the 1830s Clint's theatrical scenes changed to subjects from Shakespearian comedy painted without portraiture and so distanced from the working stage. Typical of those scenes are the three works painted for Lord Egremont exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1833: The Carousing Scene and The Duelling Scene from Twelfth Night, and Falstaff Relating his Gadshill Adventure from 1 Henry IV (Petworth House, Sussex). This change of style was not to a purely literary representation of dramatic subjects since the spatial and compositional restrictions of the stage remained. Clint was a painter of the comic. His only scene from tragedy was from the working stage: Mr. Young in ‘Hamlet’ (V&A), shown at the Royal Academy in 1831. In his colouring Clint was influenced by the work of seventeenth-century Netherlandish masters, including Van Dyck. The largest collection of Clint's theatrical works is in the Garrick Club, London, which owns six of his scene paintings and ten theatrical portraits.

Full membership of the Royal Academy was an important goal for Clint. His failure to achieve this led to his resignation from the academy in 1836. In that year he gave evidence hostile to the Royal Academy to the House of Commons select committee on arts and manufactures. He seems to have had a difficult temperament. While he was not directly involved in current debates on the direction and content of the visual and dramatic arts, Clint's work stands at the intersection of painting and the theatre and is emblematic of those debates.

The poverty Clint knew for most of his life was eased by some property that came to him with his second wife, which helped to augment his income from painting and engraving. He retired to 1 Albert Cottages, Montpellier Road, Peckham, Surrey, and moved near the end of his life to 32 Pembroke Square, Kensington, where he died, a widower, on 16 May 1854. He was buried in Kensal Green cemetery. Clint had a pupil, (Robert) William Buss, who was the author of his obituary in the Art Journal (July 1854). Of his sons, Scipio Clint (1805–1839) became a medallist, and Alfred Clint (1807–1883) became a marine painter. A. Nisbet DNB

Artist biography

George Clint,  (1770–1854), theatrical genre painter and engraver, was born in London at Brownlow Street, Holborn, on 12 April 1770, the son of Michael Clint, a hairdresser in Lombard Street, and his first wife. The family came from Hexham in Northumberland. Clint received a simple education in Yorkshire. He had several false starts before taking up painting, first as a fishmonger's apprentice, then in an attorney's office, and finally as a house-painter. During this period he married his first wife, the daughter of a small farmer in Berkshire, with whom he had five sons and four daughters. Clint began as a miniature painter with a painting room in Leadenhall Street, London. From Edward Bell, the nephew of John Bell the publisher, a mezzotint engraver best-known for his plates after George MorlandClint learned the technique of mezzotint engraving that he practised throughout his career. Among his early engravings are The Frightened Horse after George Stubbs, and The Death of Nelson after W. Drummond. The precise date when Clint embarked on an artistic career is uncertain, but from the path of his development and the date of his first oil painting exhibited at the Royal Academy (1802) it can probably be assigned to the mid-1790s. From his wife's approach to Sir William Beechey for an opinion on his first attempt at oil painting, a portrait of his wife, a lasting friendship grew between Clint and Beechey. At about this time Clint's friend Samuel Reynolds, the mezzotint engraver, advised him to take up watercolour portraiture. Clint eked out his income by painting copies of prints after Morland and David Teniers, and many copies of The Enraged Bull and The Horse Struck by Lightning by StubbsSir Thomas Lawrence was impressed by Clint's engraving skills and gave Clintseveral of his portraits to engrave. A misunderstanding over the engraving of Lawrence's portrait of Lord Ellenborough which Clint believed had been promised to him but which Lawrence disposed elsewhere led to a rupture in their relationship that damaged Clint's engraving practice.

A significant event in Clint's career was his engraving of G. H. Harlow's theatrical painting The Trial Scene from ‘Henry VIII’ with portraits of the Kemble family, published in January 1819. Harlow's picture was an attempt to raise the status of theatrical genre painting to that enjoyed by history painting. Clint's engraving of this work established his reputation for treating theatrical subjects. Clint practised as a portrait painter throughout his career, but is chiefly remembered for his theatrical scene paintings. He also painted numerous theatrical portraits. His principal patrons were Lord Egremontand the celebrated actor Charles Mathews the elder. Between 1802 and 1817 the Royal Academy catalogues show that he frequently changed his studio address (all in London), suggesting that his commissions during this period were haphazard and uncertain. From 1817 he remained for over twenty years at 83 Gower Street, London. Throughout the 1820s he exhibited at the Royal Academy a number of theatrical scenes with portraiture from a scene in The Clandestine Marriage (1819) to a scene from Love, Law and Physic (1830; both Garrick Club, London). The most ambitious of these works is his large painting of Edmund Kean in A New Way to Pay Old Debts (1820; Garrick Club), which approaches the scale of a history painting, but he did nothing else in the same vein. His works of this period generally derive from ephemeral comedies and farce. Clint was elected an associate of the Royal Academy in 1821 presumably on the strength of his scene from Lock and Key (Garrick Club), exhibited in the same year.

In the 1830s Clint's theatrical scenes changed to subjects from Shakespearian comedy painted without portraiture and so distanced from the working stage. Typical of those scenes are the three works painted for Lord Egremont exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1833: The Carousing Scene and The Duelling Scene from Twelfth Night, and Falstaff Relating his Gadshill Adventure from 1 Henry IV (Petworth House, Sussex). This change of style was not to a purely literary representation of dramatic subjects since the spatial and compositional restrictions of the stage remained. Clint was a painter of the comic. His only scene from tragedy was from the working stage: Mr. Young in ‘Hamlet’ (V&A), shown at the Royal Academy in 1831. In his colouring Clint was influenced by the work of seventeenth-century Netherlandish masters, including Van Dyck. The largest collection of Clint's theatrical works is in the Garrick Club, London, which owns six of his scene paintings and ten theatrical portraits.

Full membership of the Royal Academy was an important goal for Clint. His failure to achieve this led to his resignation from the academy in 1836. In that year he gave evidence hostile to the Royal Academy to the House of Commons select committee on arts and manufactures. He seems to have had a difficult temperament. While he was not directly involved in current debates on the direction and content of the visual and dramatic arts, Clint's work stands at the intersection of painting and the theatre and is emblematic of those debates.

The poverty Clint knew for most of his life was eased by some property that came to him with his second wife, which helped to augment his income from painting and engraving. He retired to 1 Albert Cottages, Montpellier Road, Peckham, Surrey, and moved near the end of his life to 32 Pembroke Square, Kensington, where he died, a widower, on 16 May 1854. He was buried in Kensal Green cemetery. Clint had a pupil, (Robert) William Buss, who was the author of his obituary in the Art Journal (July 1854). Of his sons, Scipio Clint (1805–1839) became a medallist, and Alfred Clint (1807–1883)became a marine painter.

  • A. Nisbet  DNB