London – Westminster – Tate Britain (Portrait of the Artist’s Wife by William Dobson)

The gallery note that William Dobson (1611-1646) was “considered to be one of the best English artists of his time” and I have no reason (or knowledge) to argue with that. There’s a watercolour from the 1830s which shows the painting on display at Howsham Hall, a grand house to the north-east of York and not that far from Castle Howard. Dobson was a court painter for King Charles I and was a respected artist of this time. Unfortunately, his allegiance to the Monarchy didn’t end well for him when Parliamentarians started to take power, he fell out of favour and died in poverty at the age of just 35.

The artwork is of Judith Sanders, Dobson’s second wife, and it was painted in the late 1630s. It’s not known where the painting went until it was noted as being at Howsham Hall, where it remained until the sale in November 1948 when it was purchased by the Rev. Denzil Wright. The Tate acquired the artwork in 1992, although it had gone on display at the National Portrait Gallery in late 1983.