Sermon at St Lawrence

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Sermon at St Lawrence, Ventnor, Isle of Wight, April 1844

Oil on unlined canvas

From the preparatory drawings of his portrait miniatures Ubsdell composed this conversation piece of famous people sitting in the smallest parish church in England. He included key figures from; Queen Victoria’s Court, the Court of Louis Philippe King of the French, The Royal Yacht Squadron, the Town of Portsmouth, and Jane Austen’s niece, Anna Lefroy. The most important people look straightforward in the picture. Ubsdell himself sits facing the viewer at the vanishing point of the lines of perspective, his wife by his side, and in her arms above the font, their infant daughter who had died of pneumonia just before Christmas three years earlier.

(Chris Brindle Collection)