Alice Barnham and Her Sons Martin and Steven

Alice Barnham and Her Sons Martin and Steven

British artist
Oil paint on panel
Accession Number
Credit Line
Gift of the Berger Collection Educational Trust

British artist, Alice Barnham and Her Sons Martin and Steven, 1557. Oil paint on panel; 38¼ × 32 in. (100 × 81.3 cm). Gift of the Berger Collection Educational Trust, 2021.32

image height: 38¼ in, -100.0000 cm; image width: 32 in, 81.2800 cm; frame height: 47 1/4 in, 120.015 cm; frame width: 41 in, 104.1400 cm; frame depth: 3 1/2 in, 8.89 cm
Inscribed: [above left figure] STEVE WAS BORNE THE .21. / OF IVLI ON A SONDAY AT / NIGHTE AND .10. OF THE CLOKE / Ao . DN I .1549; [above central figure] I WAS BORNE THE .7. OF SEPTEMBER / ON A SONDAY .1523. TORNID / FR THAT I WAS VNTO THAT / YE SE. Ao . DNI .1557; [above left figure] MARTIN WAS BORNE THE .26. / OF MARCHE AT .9. OF THE / CLOKE BEFORE NOVNE IN / Ao . DNI .1548.
European and American Art Before 1900
European Painting and Sculpture before 1900
This object is currently on view

This is one of the earliest family group portraits in British art. Alice Barnham, wife of a London merchant, was a businesswoman in her own right, directing a silk production business that catered to an elite clientele. Some products of her profession are depicted here: the blackwork embroidery on her cuffs and collar and those of her sons, the ribbon around Martin’s waist, and the tablecloth with its appliquéd ribbons. 

Known Provenance
Boughton Monchelsea Place, Kent; Boughton Monchelsea Place sale, Christie’s, South Kensington, January 21, 1998, lot 670; from which acquired by William M. B. Berger and Bernadette Johnson Berger, Denver; Berger Collection Educational Trust; gifted to the Denver Art Museum, 2021. Provenance research is on-going at the Denver Art Museum and we will post information as it becomes available. Please e-mail, if you have questions, or if you have additional information to share with us.
Exhibition History
  • “Treasures from the Berger Collection: British Paintings 1400-2000” — Denver Art Museum, 10/2/2014 – 9/9/2018

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