An Oil on Board Portrait of Augustus William Dubourg, Playwright, by R.S. Moseley RA c.1912

Origin: English
Period: Edwardian
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1912
Height: 15.25”
Width: 13.5”

Painted by R.S. Moseley (RA), in oils on board, the head and shoulders portrait of Augustus William Dubourg, playwright and author, shown in a camel coloured jacket and green tie with white shirt, in his elder years, on a dark ground. the work presented unframed and unrestored, with the artists monogram in scarlet red lower left, the whole surviving from the first quarter of twentieth century England.

The picture is in slightly tired but decorative condition. The canvas has some craquelure and is dirty, with a couple of flecked losses, and is presented unframed. Please refer to the photographs for a full visual reference. The inscription to the reverse gives us all of the information on the picture, coupled with a stamp for Moseley and his studio in Salisbury, Wiltshire. The inscription reads; “ Head of A.W. Dubourg Esq (Dramatic author of “The Mount”, Wilton, Wilts, painted by – R.S. Moseley (exhit RA) Sarum 1912”.

Augustus William Dubourg (1830-1910), was a playwright, novelist, and civil servant. Most of his plays appear to have been comedies or romantic dramas, for instance ‘The Mount’,  and he also collaborated on occasion with the art critic and playwright Tom Taylor. In 1887, he was invited to the private view of the Royal Society of British Artists exhibition. JW was then President of the Society.

R. S. Moseley (fl.1862 -1893) was a painter of genre and animal subjects. His home address in 1862 is listed as: 13 Union Grove, Wandsworth Road, London. He exhibited at the RA, BI, Sussex Street and RBA. The Royal Society of British Artists lists 34 paintings many inscribed with literary quotations. Some of his paintings realised substantial sums of money, in 1868 'A board of guardians' was sold for £100.00, and in 1869 'Snowed Out' £73.10s. This was obviously was of his later works.

An intriguing and decorative portrait of a prominent figure of the theatrical world, by a good hand.