Stephen SlaughterThe Betts Family c.1746

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Artwork details

Stephen Slaughter (1697‑1765)
The Betts Family
Date c.1746
MediumOil paint on canvas
Dimensionssupport: 737 x 616 mm frame: 980 x 853 x 80 mm
Acquisition Bequeathed by Mrs A. Sealy 1905
Not on display


Stephen Slaughter, the supposed painter of this small group portrait, or 'conversation piece', was an exact contemporary of William Hogarth (1697-1764). Indeed, the earliest recorded owner of this picture, Mathew Raper (1741-1826), vice President of the Society of Antiquaries and a Director of the Bank of England, was quite certain that it was by Hogarth. However, while his attribution has since proved to be incorrect, Raper did provide valuable information on the identity of the sitters.

In the centre of the picture, seated, holding her granddaughter, is Mrs Betts. To the left, dressed in orange and holding a floral riband, is her eldest-surviving daughter, Anne Betts. At the extreme right hand side, in a blue dress, is her youngest daughter, Rebecca, behind whom stands her husband, Edmund Anguish. It is their baby daughter, Anne (c.1745-1824), who sits in Mrs Betts's lap, and who in later life became the wife of the above mentioned Mathew Raper. It is also her approximate date of birth (she died in 1824, aged 79), that provides the suggested date of 1746 for the present picture… (read more)

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