Susan Rushbrooke

Susan Rushbrooke

John Downman, Welsh, 1750-1824
Oil paint on copper
Gift of the Berger Collection Educational Trust

John Downman 
British, 1750–1824
Susan Rushbrooke, about 1778
Oil paint on copper
Gift of the Berger Collection Educational Trust, 2019.19

image height: 9 3/4 in, 24.7650 cm; image width: 8 in, 20.3200 cm; frame height: 14 3/8 in, 36.5125 cm; frame width: 12 7/8 in, 32.7025 cm; frame depth: 1 5/8 in, 4.1275 cm
European and American Art Before 1900
European Painting and Sculpture before 1900

Born in North Wales, Downman trained in London with Benjamin West and in 1769 was among the first students of painting to enroll in the Royal Academy Schools. He specialized in small, exquisitely painted portraits such as this work, often painted on copper, whose smooth surface allowed him to paint in minute detail on a small scale. Following the prevailing Neoclassical taste, he often posed his subjects in profile, a popular design for its allusion to ancient Roman imperial coins.  

Known Provenance
By descent in the sitter's family; Wyndham Rushbrooke (according the inscription on reverse); Sir John Harrowing, Low Stakesby, Whitby, purchased between 1895 and 1937; by descent; with Hazlitt Gooden & Fox, London; from which acquired by the Berger Collection Educational Trust, Denver, 2005; gifted to the Denver Art Museum, 2019. 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