Cecilia Jenkins, Child Offering Flower Bouquet - 1810 watercolour painting

An original 1810 watercolour painting, Cecilia Jenkins Child Offering Flower Bouquet.

A captivating watercolour painting, with graphite underdrawing, of a child offering a small bouquet of hand picked flowers to another child standing above her. The word 'fecit' below the signature is Latin for 'I made this'. It is likely that the artist of this painting was Cecilia Gidoin Jenkins, older sister to Anna Knowles, who in recent years has been discovered to have been the anonymous author behind a dozen or so popular novels that were widely published in the first half of the nineteenth-century. Her most well known work - the three volume 'Wedlock: Or Yesterday and Today' - provides a detailed account of her at one point amorous relationship with the satirical author Thomas Love Peacock, who was a close friend to Percy Bysshe Shelley, whom Cecilia also discusses in some depth in her novel. It is likely Cecilia was also friends with Shelley through her connection with Peacock. Peacock had attended school at Englefield Green, where the Knowles family resided, so it is likely his relationship with Cecilia began early on in childhood.  

Signed and dated lower left.
Minor foxing and light age toning, particularly along the right edge, as shown. Vertical creasing along the left edge, due to historical binding. Otherwise, in very good condition. 
20.7cm x 27cm.

This work is one of an early-19th century collection of drawings and watercolours that came to us bearing the inscription ‘Anna Knowles, Englefield Green, 24 June 1810’. The Knowles family appears to have been entrenched in Englefield Green in Surrey for some generations, and had interesting connections with the satirical writer Thomas Love Peacock, and by extension, Percy Bysshe Shelley, who was a close confidante of Peacock’s.

The majority of the works in the collection appear to be by the hand of Anna herself, who was born in 1790 and married one of Peacock’s schoolmates, Joseph Gulston, in 1809. Interestingly, however, one painting is by the hand of Anna’s sister Cecilia (whose married name was Cecilia Gidoin Jenkins ) – who, it has recently been discovered, was the famous author of at least ten popular books, such as ‘Miss Alymer' and ‘The Smiths: A Novel’, published anonymously in the first half of the century. Her most well known work - the three volume 'Wedlock: Or Yesterday and Today' - provides a detailed account of her relationship with Thomas Love Peacock, who supposedly proposed to her at one point, and of their joint interactions with Shelley.

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Product code: JH-538

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