Many of these very Victorian subjects with titles such as Bravo Toro (1865), Stolen by Gypsies (1868) or Kissing Relics (1869) were set in Spain where Burgess was an annual visitor for 30 years. Portraits of Spanish beauties were his stock in trade.
This portrait, up for auction at Semley (22% buyer’s premium) in Shaftesbury on January 25, offered a different view of the artist’s oeuvre. Titled Ethel Burgess and dated 1871, a label and inscription verso suggests the sitter is the artist’s daughter who would later become Lady Knapp-Fisher.
From ‘the property of a lady’, the 15 x 12in (39 x 30cm) oil in original gilt frame was pitched at £150-250 but found plenty of admirers before selling at £3000 to a buyer using thesaleroom.com.