Messrs Baring Brothers & Co on show at the Cobra Museum of Modern Art

A painting of four key figures in the history of Barings is currently featuring in an exhibition in the Netherlands.

Ambrose McEvoy's painting, Messrs Baring Brothers & Co, was painted in 1926 and depicts John Baring, Cecil Baring, Alfred Mildmay and Gaspard Farrer.

The exhibition at the Cobra Museum of Modern Art, Amstelveen, has been curated to showcase highlights from the art collections hanging in ING's offices in the Netherlands, Belgium, Poland and the UK.

Born in Wiltshire in 1878, Ambrose McEvoy was a British painter of figures, landscapes and portraits. The young McEvoy was encouraged by J A M Whistler to enter the Slade School of Art in London. There, he was a contemporary of William Orpen, Wyndham Lewis and Augustus John.  

Early in his career, McEvoy painted landscapes and interiors with figures in low tones. He exhibited at the New English Art Club from 1900 and became a member in 1902. In 1911, McEvoy became a founder-member of the National Portrait Society. It was as a portrait painter that McEvoy gained success. His portraits were mainly of women from the English upper-classes and often in watercolour. However, McEvoy also painted public figures including Winston Churchill and, during the First World War, he was attached to the Royal Naval Division and painted a number of pictures of distinguished sailors and soldiers.

In 1926, McEvoy was commissioned to paint a group portrait of the partners of Baring Brothers. McEvoy was asked to paint them in the Partners’ Room in the firm’s historic offices at 8 Bishopsgate in the City of London. The picture echoes the portrait of Barings’ first partners, painted by Sir Thomas Lawrence in 1806. So pleased were the partners with the results that they also commissioned the artist to paint their individual portraits. McEvoy died only a year later, in 1927.

The exhibition will run until 4 January 2015.

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Posted on Wednesday, 1st October 2014

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