"Portrait Of Timothy Mortimer, Signed & Dated 1720; Robert Dellow (c.1696-1736)"The gentleman in this portrait has been depicted within a feigned oval wearing the attire of a respectably English gent. The azure coat over a silver embroidered waistcoat, white chemise and cravat have been painted with finesse. The sitter is by tradition Timothy Mortimer (1686/1687 – 1750/1751); he was 33 or 34 years old at the time this signed portrait was painted in 1720. Timothy (buried at Healaugh, near his parents Robert and Alice Mortimer) together with this wife Frances, had three sons, Charles, Timothy, and John, and a daughter Frances. Timothy, the second son, married Mary, daughter of Robert Bewlay, esq. of York, by whom he had a daughter Mary, who in 1786 became the wife of Hewley-John Baines, esq. of Bell Hall.
There was a great demand for this style and type of portrait in 18th century England and Sir Godfrey Kneller’s Academy in London lead the way. Robert Dellow (c.1696-c.1736/1749) was an English (or possibly Irish) artist who attended Godfrey Kneller’s Academy in 1711. His name is often recorded as Dellon and he appears in Oxford College accounts as Delleau. There is not an in-depth account of his life but it is thought that he had one son also called Robert. He followed in Kneller’s manner and after the death of Kneller he assisted in the completion of his unfinished pictures. Several of his paintings were in the Duke of Beaufort’s collection at Badminton. A number of his portraits have been engraved. He is thought to have been buried at St Botolph’s Bishopsgate in London.
Bell Hall was built by Sir John Hewley (1619 - c.1695) who was a lawyer of Gray's Inn and Whig MP. Sir John was a puritan, but at the Restoration, like his fellow townsman, Lord Fairfax, and General Monk, a Royalist and his house asserts that fact. Nonconformist in religion, he may have done this to get around the law that prevented nonconformist ministers from residing within five miles of York. Wood panelling in the family estate Bell Hall is reputed to hide cavities in the walls where they hid Presbyterian ministers.
At the time of writing we have portraits of four members of this family.
Provenance: By descent within the Hewley Baines of Bell Hall, Naburn, Near York to John Hewley Baines of Latimer House, Heckington, Lincolnshire for over 200 years until recently acquired by Titan Fine Art
Inscriptions: Signed and dated “RD 1720”
Literature: Paper of the Baines family of Bell Hall, Naburn, Hull History Centre
Country Life, 17th June, 1922, p.820-823
Measurements: Height 95cm, Width 81cm framed (Height 37.5”, Width 32” framed)