William Wyatt Dimond
Oil on canvas
Don Felix : The Wonder; A Woman Keeps a Secret
height (frame): 46cm
width (frame): 37cm
John Bell; Thomas Harris; Harris sale, Robins 12 July 1819 (10); Charles Mathews
1833 London, Queen's Bazaar, Oxford Street, "Mr Mathews's Gallery of Theatrical Portraits" (382)
Philippe Audinet for Bell's British Library 21 July 1792, line 11.4x8.2, pl. to Bell's "British Theatre" (1797), vol. 21
Anon. Printed for C. Cooke 1809, pl. to "British Drama" 1817, line
Donna Violante has been advising Colonel Brittan on his affair with Donna Isabella. In Act IV, Don Felix, Violante's lover, arrives unexpectedly, and Violante tells the Colonel to hide in her bedchamber. Violante's father then arrives and, wishing to avoid him, Felix says "let me step into your Bed-chamber, he won't look under the bed." He pushes open the door, thinks he sees a man, and says the line cited by Mathews and quoted on the engraving: "Either my eyes deceive me or I saw a man within." Don Felix wears brown shoes, white stockings, pink breeches, a pink coat with green lining and gold trim, a green waistcoat trimmed with gold, a pink and gold belt and scabbard band, and a ruff. In his left hand he holds a black hat with a white plume.
Susannah Centlivre's comedy was first performed at Drury Lane on 27 April 1714. A popular play, it was included by both Kitty Clive and David Garrick in their final farewell performances. Dimond does not seem to have played the part in London.