The portrait painter Philip Augustus Gaugain (1791-1865) lived in Southampton for twelve years after both he and his wife Anne left their London residence, 10 Norfolk Street (now 22 Cleveland Street) in St Pancras, in 1824 or 1825. The house had, between 1815 and 1817, been home to the young Charles Dickens. It lay close to the Strand Union Workhouse. Philip was born in London on 17 May 1791, the son of Thomas and Marianne Ame (nee La Cointe) Gaugain, and baptized in the parish church of St George, Hanover Square on 12 June. His father Thomas Gaugain (1756-?1810) was a painter (educated at the Royal Academy Schools), engraver, picture cleaner and publisher of stipple prints. He merits an entry in the Oxford dictionary of national biography. An uncle, Peter John Gaugain (1762-1813), was similarly an engraver and bookseller. Philip's address for his first exhibits at the Royal Academy (in 1808 and 1809) was his father's house in Five Fields, Chelsea. Philip had been, according to an advertisement he placed in the Southampton press in September 1839, a pupil of Sir William Beechey (1753-1839), portrait painter to royalty. Beechey was known for the delicacy and chastity of his work, and a lack of extravagance and flamboyance (Oxford dictionary of national biography). These old-fashioned traits are perhaps visible in Gaugain's work. Gaugain was a subscriber to and regular exhibitor at the Hants Picture Gallery, established by Henry Buchan at 159 High Street in July 1827. He was a contemporary of William Shayer. We have three Southampton addresses for Gaugain during his residence here: 2 York Buildings (1825), Panorama Place on the south side of Winkle Street (1827) and 106 High Street (1830-4). By 1838 Gaugain was back in London, at 105 Great Titchfield Street, Cavendish Square. Thereafter he is at a variety of addresses in and around London until his death - on 3 January 1865, aged 69 - at 1 Paragon Cottages, Francis Street, Newington Butts in Surrey. Southampton engagements continued after his removal to London. These sometimes led to a residence of up to two months in the town, giving the opportunity to advertise for supplementary commissions. This probably explains his appearance on the 1851 census (without his wife who was still in London) as a lodger at 9 Onslow Road [now Swift Road] in Woolston. In 1859 he spent four or five weeks at Vansittart Cottage in Eldon Terrace (probably in Southampton for the portrait of J R Stebbing). Henry Joseph Buchan - son of the founder of the Hants Picture Gallery - was often named as his Southampton contact.

The following is an incomplete and provisional list of portraits by Gaugain with a Southampton connection. Several commissions stemmed from the prominent position he held within Freemasonry. He was Worshipful Master of the Royal Gloucester Lodge in 1830 (Brian Stewart and Mervyn Cutten, The Shayer family of painters, 1981), and was hailed in 1859 (on the presentation of his portrait of J R Stebbing) as the oldest Past Master of the Gloucester Lodge then alive. The more commercial of the portraits were also issued as engravings: a reflection of Philip's background.

1823 - John Hookery, Esq of Southampton. Exhibited at the Royal Academy. "If this is a good likeness, we feel no hesitation in pronouncing Mr Hookery a bonvivant, whose face has cost more painting than half the pictures in the exhibition" (Literary Chronicle, 17 May 1823). Studio address given in the Royal Academy catalogue was 10 Norfolk Street, Middlesex Hospital.

1824 - Captain Richard Davis Pritchard [Royal Navy surgeon]
Mary Ann Pritchard [his wife]

1825 - Mr James Thring of Southampton [wine merchant of Clarence House]

1826 - Caroline Bathurst [1798-1862]

1827 - The children of Captain R D Pritchard

1830 - James Barlow Hoy [MP for Southampton 1830-1 and 1835-7]. Exhibited at the Hants Picture Gallery.

Edward Rudd [our late respected townsman, Worshipful Master of the Masonic Lodge; grocer and tea dealer of Above Bar]

1831 - Reverend Thomas Adkins [minister of the Above Bar Independent Chapel]. An engraving made by Gaugain advertised for sale on 29 January 1831 (Hampshire Advertiser)

J Hoskins, esq. Exhibited at the Hants Picture Gallery

1832 - John Fleming [MP for Hampshire 1820-31 and South Hampshire 1835-42]. Exhibited at Hants Picture Gallery. Lithograph, drawn on stone by Gaugain and published by C Hullmandel, "dedicated to the Freeholders of Hampshire". Two draft copies in Hampshire Archives and Local Studies 90M86W/46)

1834 - Portrait of the Bishop of Winchester [Charles Richard Sumner], represented as delivering his charge. Exhibited at the Hants Picture Gallery. "The eyes have a liquid lustre that give great animation and expression to the countenance" (Hampshire Advertiser, 16 August 1834) –

Mrs William Wyndham's three grand-children. Exhibited at the Hants Picture Gallery. Undated, but probably painted during Gaugain's residence in Southampton.

Sir William Champion de Crespigny, 2nd Bart [MP for Southampton 1818-26; died 1829]. The portrait of his son the Reverend Heaton Champion de Crespigny may date from Gaugain's Southampton period.

Late Colonel Mitford [William Mitford of Exbury House; historian; friend, patron and former pupil of William Gilpin; died 10 February 1827]. Exhibited at the Hants Picture Gallery.

Caroline Anne Bowles [poet and writer born in Lymington; painted before June 1839, the date of her marriage to the poet Robert Southey].

John Story Penleaze [MP for Southampton 1831-5].

Thomas Leader Harman [proprietor of Hampshire Independent]

1845 - Brother Charles Ewens Deacon, Deputy Provincial Grand Master of the Province of Hampshire. Painted by desire of the Brethren of the Royal Gloucester Lodge of Freemasons. Two-thirds length. Later hung in the Masonic Hall in Bugle Street.

1856 - Robert Hatch Stares of Droxford [Chairman of the Droxford Union for 22 years]. Presented by fellow guardians: "as they could not send him to London to sit for it, they brought the artist down to Southampton - Mr Gaugain of Brompton (formerly of Southampton)" (Hampshire Advertiser, 1 November 1856).

1859 - Brother Joseph Rankin Stebbing. Presented by the Brethren of the Lodge of Peace and Harmony of Freemasons. Hung in the Masonic Hall in Bugle Street.

1860 - Frederick Perkins. Painted for the Brethren of the Royal Gloucester Lodge of Freemasons to commemorate the Worshipful Master being elected Mayor of Southampton. In full Masonic robes.

The Reverend Thomas Adkins

Image Unavailable

Portrait of Thomas Adkins, drawn by P. A. Gaugain and engraved by T. Fairland, c.1831.


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