Portrait of Anne Keck c.1715; Attributed to Jonathan Richardson.

By Roy Precious From United Kingdom

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Oil on canvas in a gilt frame.
The sitter is traditionally called Anne Keck (nee Busby), who was a member of the wealthy and landed Keck family.
Stoughton Grange and estate, owned by the Beaumonts, passed to Anthony Keck of Lincolns Inn as his wife was Anne Busby of Beaumont, daughter of William Busby and Catherine Beaumont his wife. They had a son Anthony James Keck who became a politician and married Elizabeth Legh (daughter of Peter Legh of Lyme). The couple lived at Stoughton Grange and had six children, the only son to survive and inherit was George Anthony Legh Keck who lived at the house until he married his cousin Elizabeth Atherton in 1802 so that he could inherit the family’s Bank Hall estate in Lancashire. It was following the marriage that he moved to Bank Hall which he later renovated in 1832 and used Stoughton as a second home. Legh Keck remained a member of parliament for Leicestershire and frequently travelled between the estates. Upon the death of Legh Keck his brother-in-law Thomas Powys, 3rd Baron Lilford, inherited his estates, but also died a year later.
In 1871 Harry Leycester Powys Keck lived at Stoughton Grange and was High Sheriff of Leicestershire. Powys Keck was the last line of the family to live at the house until 1913 when the house was put up for sale. The house was not sold and it remained unoccupied until it was demolished in 1925–6. However, Powys Keck moved away after the Stoughton estate was bought by the Co-operative Wholesale Society Ltd. in 1919 the site of the mansion was then known as Grange Farm, the centre of the society's dairy-farming in Leicestershire.
VERSO: old storage label for Jordan and Cook Ltd of the Worthing Pantechnicon. Item numbered 15, owner Mrs. Powys-Keck. 13-7-65.
See Stock No.8847 for another portrait from the same family collection.
This Mrs. Powys Keck is almost certainly Joyce Hills, the daughter of Albert Hills. She married Thomas Leycester Powys Keck of Stoughton Grange, Leicestershire on 5 November 1949. He died aged 39 in 1959. Mrs. Powys-Keck was living in Littlehampton, Sussex at the beginning of the 21st century.
JONATHAN RICHARDSON (1665–1745) sometimes called "the Elder" to distinguish him from his son) was an English artist, collector of drawings, and writer on art, working almost entirely as a portrait-painter in London.
Richardson was born in 1666, but when he was about seven his father died and his mother married again. Richardson became a scrivener's apprentice, but he was released early when his master retired. Richardson was lucky enough to be taken on as a painting apprentice by John Riley. He learnt the art of portraiture from Riley whilst living at his master's house. Richardson's wife was Riley's niece.
In 1731 he was considered by some art-critics as one of the three foremost painters of his time with Charles Jervas and Michael Dahl. He was the master of Thomas Hudson and George Knapton.
Our thanks to James Mulraine, art historian.
SIZE:34 x 29 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: *Collection of Mrs. Powys-Keck.
*Norfolk Private Collection.