Portrait of Captain Henry Augustus “Sugar” Candy 9th Royal Lancers
A very large imposing full length oil on canvass portrait of Captain Henry Augustus “ Sugar” Candy in the full dress uniform of an officer of the 9th or Royal Lancers dated 1873. Candy is depicted in a landscape with a dry stone wall, trees and in the background a trooper holding his horse in readiness.
Louis William Desanges (1822-1887) was born in Bexley, Kent in 1822 from French descent. He went to school in Kent and studied painting in France and Italy before settling in London in 1842. He was unsuccessful in the competition held in 1843 for the decoration of the new Houses of Parliament, and the Royal Academy rejected such ambitious works as the “Excommunication of Robert, King of France and his Queen , Berthe ( now untraced ).
He subsequently abandoned history painting for the more lucrative business of painting portraits of society ladies. His first work at the Academy, Portrait of an English Lady (1846, now untraced ) owed much to Ingres in its style and treatment of texture. Desanges was a member of the Association of Free Exhibition of Modern Art in the late 1840’s. He exhibited continually at the Royal Academy until 1877, though he did not receive any honours from that institution.
Perhaps his most famous assignment was begun in the late 1850’s when he embarked on a series of portraits of winners of the recently introduced Victoria Cross for actions in the Crimea and Indian Mutiny. The series was begun under the aegis of the Prince of Wales, later Edward VII, but was financed by the artist. The paintings were on display at Crystal Palace by 1862. Numerous moves to acquire the collection for the nation failed. It was eventually given to the Wantage Town Council and later dispersed. Several of the works now reside in the National Army Musem and the National Portrait Gallery.
Sold by Christies, London, in 1992 to a private American collector from thence acquired by the present owner in 2006 where it has remained.
Framed in a contemporary gilt gesso and wood frame 86”x 50” with the artists signature in the bottom right hand corner and a name tablet set at the bottom of the frame identifying the sitter as Henry Augustus Candy.