Thomas Patch 1725-1782
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Thomas Patch 1725-1782

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A view of an Italian harbour (probably Livorno) with a group of figures on the quayside listening to a musician playing a mandolin


Oil painting on canvas 35 x 50 inches in a giltwood frame


Signed “Patch” centre right


Provenance .......English private collector by whom sold Sotheby's, London, July 10, 1985, lot 12 to Thomas Agnew & Sons Ltd., London, from whom acquired later that year by an American collector


Thomas Patch was the son of the Exeter surgeon John Patch and his wife Hannah where he was born in 1725 and Christened on 31st March in that year at the church of St. Paul. He was “an intelligent and original artist with a sharp eye and a louche disposition” (Ingamells) who arrived in Italy aged 22 in 1747, whither he “came afoot” with Richard Dalton. He lived in a house opposite Horace Mann, with whom he spent a great deal of time, and was one of the central figures in the English émigré artistic community. He painted many views of Florence and other cities, was a pioneer connoisseur of 13th and 14th century painting, drew caricatures of many of the grand visitors and acted as agent and dealer in the acquisition of Italian art my the English Milordi.

Between 1750 and 1753 he worked in Florence studio of the French landscape and marine painter Joseph Vernet, and for long after supplied English visitors with landscapes strongly influenced, as here, by that master's compositions. He died in Florence on 30th April 1782 after suffering a stroke and after a sojourn in Italy of 35 years.