Wednesday, January 6, 2010

John Bill Ricketts or Jean Breschard? Has John Bill Ricketts had his 15 years ... of fame by being associated with a Stuart portrait?

There clearly exists some question as to the identity of this particular John, or Jean, as the case may be. John Bill Ricketts? or Jean Baptist Breschard? also a circus owner and equestrian performer, in the Circus of Pepin and Breschard....

This information has been provided to me; "Peter Grain, cited in the “Circus Rider” NGA provenance as owning the painting in the mid-1800s, and as selling the portrait to George W. Riggs, was a member of the Circus of Pépin and Breschard, and would have been capable of identifying the sitter in Stuart’s portrait as Breschard."

and this information has been provided:"....but I had done the provenance research and discussion of the inscriptions, and especially cited an important 1861 source that listed Ricketts' brother Francis as the first owner of the painting. Once you have read that entry, which I think explains more about the inscriptions and the provenance of the painting and thus the ID.... Ellen Miles"

So sooner hopefully rather than later I will read up on the inscriptions (found on the bottom of portrait), and check out the 1861 source. But one must question why Mason, in 1894, listed the painting as "Breschard, the Circus-Rider". And Park claims the inscription on the portrait says "Portrait of Mr. Rechart..." and one could think that the R could actually be a "B", and is the French pronunciation of Breschard.

So.... and, well, Ricketts would have had to have his portrait done by Stuart in the mid to later 1790s (before 1799 when his circus burned to the ground) right about when Stuart would have been obsessively busy with the portraits of George Washington... Ricketts would have been more well known (in this day and age), since Washington sold him his white horse Jack, nice story!

So the Jury is still out...I will work on this, for a misidentification Should be Corrected, should it not? If there is a Peter Grain in the provenance, then I would think that this portrait is not of Ricketts, but is of Jean Breschard. But was Ricketts' brother the first owner of the painting?

I have accidentally fallen into a BOILERPLATE MYSTERY!



Maureen said...

Love this, can't wait to see how it turns out! I'm guessing they are one and the same man who happened to have an alias.

emikk said...

Seems like Gibby has a habit of not finishing I crazy for thinking this?

The Clever Pup said...

I agree with the alias theory. The names are too similar.

I was on and I found two sources for you for Ricketts.

Name: John Bill Ricketts Birth - Death: 1760?-1799 Source Citation:

• The Entertainers. Edited by Clive Unger-Hamilton. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1980. Use the 'Index of Entries,' beginning on page 306, to locate biographies. (Ent)
• The Oxford Companion to American Theatre. First edition. By Gerald Bordman. New York: Oxford University Press, 1984. (OxCAmT 1)

good luck

My Farmhouse Kitchen said...

Hi Beth..check out the variety of those cherry trees.. Royal Lee and Minnie might like them cause they are for our area of central california..some new variety that needs a low chill..that's why i got them....if you are considering cherries these would probably be good in Santa Cruz too....

sounds like it's gonna get rainy...
stay warm and cozy

buddy is wrapped in a blanket by the woodstove fire right now....

more later
kary and buddy

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