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British art dealer Miles Wynn Cato discovers a long-lost portrait of the great English philosopher, John Locke
Dr Alexancler Geekie (1655-1727), ‘portrait of John Locke’, 16°96. Pastel on paper, copyright Miles Wynn Cato.

LONDON.- As part of London Art Week, British art dealer Miles Wynn Cato will be unveiling a remarkable selection of 14 important discoveries, including a rare portrait of the great English philosopher, John Locke.

Unrecorded since 1727, this fine pastel portrait was drawn from life by Dr Alexander Ceekie (1655-1727), who was Locke’s doctor and friend, as well as a highly-accomplished amateur artist and art collector.

John Locke is widely acknowledged as one of the great thinkers of the Enlightenment and indeed, of all time. Locke’s ideas were also profoundly influential in the founding of the United States. Thomas Jefferson believed Locke to be one of “the three greatest men that have ever lived, without any exception.”

Archive letters between John Locke and Dr Ceekie reveal their close mutual regard, and in this superb personal portrayal, Ceekie has managed to capture the essence of Locke’s character.

The image is inscribed on the reverse, ‘Mr Lock by A Ceekie, 1696’ and it is singled out for special mention in Ceekie’s will.

This discovery marks a significant addition to the iconography of John Locke. It is also very rare on the market, since almost all the other known portraits of John Locke are owned by public institutions.

Miles Wynn Cato’s exhibition:

This special selling exhibition, held in conjunction with London Art Week, is called ’British Art Redisr overed Unseen Pit tures Untold Stories’. It will contain 14 rediscovered paintings & drawings by some of the most important British artists of the last century. Artists on view will include Sir Thomas Lawrence, Thomas Jones, Angelica Kaufman . Joseph Wright of Derby and remarkably, five rediscovered pictures by Thomas Gainsborough.

● All of these artworks had been long lost, mrs-catalogued or previously unrecorded.

● Each picture is also notable in the artist’s oeuvre for stylistic reasons, or because the sitter or scene is exceptionally rare (such as the portrait of John Locke).

● The exhibition will include 3 paintings by early female artists, including a lost painting by Angelica Kauffman, RA.

● In two instances (Thomas Gainsborough & Thomas Lawrence), the image on view is one of the artist’s earliest known pictures to survive — so these significant new finds will shed fresh light on the early technique of these outstanding artists.
This is a unique, limited opportunity to see these exciting new discoveries for the first time.

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