Overview

No overview available.

Inscription

Marks and Labels

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Provenance

Painted for the sitter's husband, Lord George Cavendish [1754-1934], of Keighley; by descent to John Compton Cavendish, 4th Baron Chesham [1894-1952]. (M. Knoedler & Co., London), from whose New York branch it was purchased October 1928 by Andrew W. Mellon, Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C.; deeded December 1934 to The A.W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust, Pittsburgh; gift 1937 to NGA.

Exhibition History

1782
Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1782, no. 204, as Portrait of a Lady.
1813
British Institution, London, 1813, no. 37.
1857
Pictures by Italian, Spanish, Flemish, Dutch, French and English Masters, British Institution, London, 1857, no. 139.
1880
Works by the Old Masters, and by Deceased Masters of the British School. Winter Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1880, no. 135.
1904
Tenth Annual Exhibiton on Behalf of the Artists' General Benevolent Institution, Thos. Agnew & Sons, Ltd., London, 1904, no. 11.
1930
Sixteen Masterpieces, M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., New York, 1930, no. 5, repro.

Bibliography

1782
_Morning Herald, 2 May 1782.
1782
_St. James's Chronicle, 30 April 1782.
1865
Leslie, Charles Robert and Tom Talylor. Life and Times of Sir Joshua Reynolds. 2 vols. London, 1865: 2:343, 361.
1899
Graves, Algernon and William Vine Cronin. A History of the Works of Sir Joshua Reynolds. 4 vols. London, 1899-1901: 1:134, 188-189; 4:1285, 1547.
1900
Armstrong, Sir Walter. Sir Joshua Reynolds. London, 1900: 200.
1930
Valentiner, Wilhelm R., ed. Unknown Masterpieces in Public and Private Collections. London, 1930: n.p., pl. 93.
1941
_Preliminary Catalogue of Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1941: 167, no. 97.
1941
Waterhouse, Sir Ellis. Reynolds. London, 1941: 74, pl. 230.
1942
_Book of Illustrations. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1942: 241, repro. 17.
1949
_Paintings and Sculpture from the Mellon Collection. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1949 (reprinted 1953 and 1958): 108, repro.
1963
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. New York, 1963 (reprinted 1964 in French, German, and Spanish): 319, repro.
1965
_Summary Catalogue of European Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1965: 113.
1968
_European Paintings and Sculpture, Illustrations. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1968: 101, repro.
1975
_European Paintings: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1975: 302, repro.
1975
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. New York, 1975: no. 506, color repro.
1984
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. Rev. ed. New York, 1984: 361, no. 504, color repro.
1985
_European Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1985: 348, repro.
1992
Hayes, John. British Paintings of the Sixteenth through Nineteenth Centuries. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1992: 220-221, repro. 221.

Technical Summary

The medium-lightweight canvas is fairly tightly twill woven; it has been lined. The ground is white, of moderate thickness. The painting is boldly executed in fluid, broad layers, ranging from thick impasto in the lights, with some palette-knife applications, to thin, dry scumbling and glazes. The texture of the paint is buttery, and it may contain nonoil additives. There are pentimenti in the folds of the sleeves around the forearms, below the sitter's left shoulder, and in the contours of the hair, and a plume or decoration at the top center of the hair seems to have been painted out. The paint layers are in poor condition owing partly to Reynolds' experimental painting techniques and partly to insensitive past restoration. There is extensive abrading and the impasto has been flattened during the linings; there is extensive overpainting in the severe traction crackle in the darks, which was caused by the presence of bitumen. The natural resin varnish has discolored yellow to a significant degree.

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