attributed to Arthur Pond, Seven Children of Francis and Rhoda Blake Delaval

Photo courtesy of Dave Penman (All rights reserved)


Country House
Doddington Hall
Seven Children of Francis and Rhoda Blake Delaval
Drawing Room
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
Overall height: 243 cm, Overall width: 181 cm
attributed to Arthur Pond (c.1705-1758)
Catalogue Number


This group portrait depicts seven of the Delaval children. All four daughters are represented: Rhoda, the eldest, stands at the centre, with her younger sisters, Anne, Elizabeth Mary and Sarah, to the right. The two boys standing to the left are the younger twins, George and Henry, indicated by their similar, age and height, and their affectionate body language; notably their clasped hands. The boy to the right would appear to be a slightly older brother, possibly Thomas or Robert. In terms of date, the portrait was probably painted a year or two later than DN55, since the three seated girls look a little older. Although this portrait has been attributed to Arthur Pond, the style and handling are quite distinct from the group portrait of Rhoda and her brothers purchased in 1749 (DN64).

An inferior version of the present portrait, evidently a copy, possibly by Pond’s pupil, Rhoda Delaval, is at Seaton Delaval.1 Based on the sitters’ relative ages the portrait was probably made sometime in the mid-1740s, when Rhoda Delaval, standing at the centre of the portrait, was in her late teens. In the nineteenth century Cole identified the seven figures as the sons and daughters of Rhoda Apreece and Captain Francis Blake Delaval, although he also noted that the ‘taller lady in the centre’ (Rhoda Delaval) was said to be an unidentified cousin. He also stated that similar versions of DN57 and DN64, ‘but in bad condition’, were located at Seaton Delaval, one of which is presumably the copy mentioned above.

by Martin Postle


  1. NT 1276686.


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