Berkeley Castle, seen on the left here. Fortunately, it is recorded on the top right hand corner that the artist is Humphry, but he also signed the portrait just under the hem of Lady Craven's skirt. Although I have a blown up picture of this signature, it is difficult to see, being almost exactly the same tone as the stone underneath her feet, and is too small to show on this blog. This is a stunning oil painting with a dramatic sky that features so often in Humphry's work.
website where you can see a larger version of the drawing, but if you have good eyesight, you should be able to see the O with a slanted H within it to the left of the knot of his neckerchief.
This beautiful miniature of Lady Elizabeth Berkeley executed in 1770 shows the OH symbol down on the right. Again it's very clear on the Museum website on a larger image. Note also that this H stands upright, whereas in the last drawing it slanted at an angle. Both examples can be found in other paintings.
Interestingly, 1788 was the year Edward turned 21. Might he have returned for a time halfway through his tour, perhaps to attend a party given in his honour to celebrate his coming of age, and might not this painting be a record of having reached this important milestone?
here and look at the blown-up, largest image, so that you can make sense of, and see what I'm going to mention next. Again, Humphry has left his monogram on the tree almost level with Jane's elbow. His signature, Humphry, is in the right-hand bottom corner, which is too difficult to see on the internet, but another monogram on the left can just be seen. If you follow the line down from the tip of the parasol you should just be able to see it, though it is quite dark. The pièce de resistance, and just where you'd expect to find a miniaturist's monogram is on the edge of the locket containing the miniature. It's very small, an O with a slanted H inside.
I have been lucky enough to see the newly cleaned painting in Paris, stripped back to its original 18th century paint, and it is utterly beautiful!
Here is another example of Humphry's monogram in this
painting of Charlotte, the Princess Royal painted in 1769
from the Royal Collection. Do look at the link because the OH symbol is very clear.
This portrait of Captain Constantine John Phipps is in the National Maritime Museum, and this time, the OH is concealed as a button, third one down on the left flap of his coat as you look at it.
I hope you've found this as fascinating as I have, and can see why it's difficult to sometimes identify Humphry's work. He was a prolific artist, and emulated the work of his peers like Romney and Reynolds, often copying their paintings in order to improve his own technique. This has led to further confusion at times, as he was such an excellent copyist.
He signed his work in different ways, as well as his surname Humphry, he used his initials and the OH monogram, often hiding it in different places, as seen here in the background, in a button, on a stone step, in the hair, (as in the case of Great-Uncle Francis Austen) or on the bole of a tree, which has further added to problems with identification.
If you'd like to see more of Humphrey's work, here is an excellent link. On the Christie's page at the bottom is a fabulous painting of a woman in white, Elizabeth Vigée Le Brun, which is very reminiscent of the style of the painting of Edward Austen.
Next time I have an exciting watercolour to share with you - a possible portrait of the Austen family, not published before on the internet!