John Opie was the son of Edward Opie, a Cornish mine carpenter.

Opie's chief gift was a natural sympathy for old people and children, whom he painted with great skill. In this portrait the seated man is the Truro merchant and leading mlne adventurer Thomas Daniell (1715 - 1793) . He is being shown a specimen of copper ore by Captain Morcom, possibly the Captain Thomas Morcom who in 1793, with Richard Trevithick, made trials of pumping engines at Seal Hole mine, St.Agnes. The mine in the background may be Wheal Towan, St. Agnes, with which both Morcom and Daniell were associated.

Provenance

Thomas Daniell; from whose estate purchased in Bath by Mr Pendarves, June 1835; by descent; on loan to the Royal Institution of Cornwall from Mrs Warwick Pendarves since 1951; Sotheby's, 1994.


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