Sophia Baddeley, Robert Baddeley, Thomas King
Oil on canvas
Fanny Sterling : The Clandestine Marriage
Canton : The Clandestine Marriage
Lord Ogleby : The Clandestine Marriage
height (frame): 122cm
width (frame): 147cm
A picture of "The Clandestine Marriage" was in the sale of the estate of the late actor and manager James Grant Raymond at Messrs. Robins (London) on 25 May 1825, where it sold for 26 pounds, 6 shillings, to an unknown buyer (Raymond had bought the picture only two years earlier; Charles Mathews
1833 London, Queen's Bazaar, Oxford Street, "Mr Mathews's Gallery of Theatrical Portraits" (35)
1934 London, Royal Academy, "British Art" (238)
1949 Birmingham, City Museum and Art Gallery, "Painters and the Theatre" (199)
1949 Port Sunlight, Lady Lever Art Gallery, "Theatre Exhibition" (276)
1951 London, Tate Gallery, "Pictures from the Garrick Club" (39)
1954-55 London, Royal Academy, "European Masters of the Eighteenth Century" (125)
1977 London, NPG, "Johan Zoffany, 1733-1810" (57)
1997 London, Dulwich Picture Gallery, "Dramatic Art
Theatrical Paintings from the Garrick Club" (38)
Richard Earlom 1772, mezzotint 42.5x55.5 [see PM0403]
R. Laurie pub. Robert Sayer 1 September 1772, mezzotint 35.6x27.8 (head of Sophia Baddeley only)
Elizabeth Steele, "The Memoirs of Sophia Baddeley" (1787), pp13-16; Patmore, p262; Fitzgerald, pp157-60; Griffiths, p322; Lady Victoria Manners & Dr G.C. Williamson, "John Zoffany" (1920), pp 143-44; TAM (1935), reproduced; David Mannings, "Gainsborough's Duke and Duchess of Cumberland", The Connoisseur (1973), 183: 92-93
Fanny, the pretty younger daughter of a rich and vulgar merchant, hopes to have Lord Ogleby protect her from the attention of Sir John Melvil and help to forward her affair with Lovewell. Misunderstanding, Lord Ogleby thinks she is making a declaration of love. Canton, Lord Ogleby's Swiss valet de chambre, interrupts at a strategic moment.
Lord Ogleby, centre, wears black shoes with silver buckles, white stockings, silver knee-breeches with a red floral pattern, a long jacket, and a waistcoat of the same elaborate material. He carries a tricorn hat with a feathered brim. Fanny's white silk panniered frock is decorated with blue bows, and her extravagant corsage includes pink flowers and daffodils. Canton, in the distance, wears red knee-breeches and a grey coat lined in red over a grey embroidered waistcoat.
Garrick and Colman's comedy was first performed at Drury Lane on 20 February 1766, with King as Lord Ogleby and Baddeley as Canton, but with Mrs Palmer as Fanny Sterling. The Royal Command performance which Zoffany's picture is traditionally supposed to commemorate occurred on 12 October 1769. Elizabeth Steele states that the picture was painted at the express command of George III but as the picture never seems to have been anywhere near the Royal Collection there is no reason to take the claim seriously. In 1824 Patmore wrote, "This picture is in excellent condition, which is rarely the case in Zoffany's works."