Painted for the sitter's husband, Sir Foster Cunliffe, 3rd Bt. [1755-1834], Acton Park, Wrexham, Denbighshire; by descent to Sir Robert Cunliffe, 7th Bt. [1884-1949]. Possibly (Lewis and Simmons, New York, London and Paris, 1928). Mrs. Vivian B. Allen, New York; by descent c. 1962 to her granddaughter, Josephine Tomkins, New York; gift to NGA, 1979.
- Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1782, no. 89, as Portrait of a Young Lady.
- Works by the Old Masters, and by Deceased Masters of the British School. Winter Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1877, no. 266.
- Fair Women, Grafton Galleries, London, 1894, no. 82.
- London Courant, 4 May 1782.
- Mckay, William and William Roberts. John Hoppner, R.A.. London, 1909: 60, 310; Supplement, 1914.
- European Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1985: 207, repro., as Lady Harriet Cunliffe
- Wilson, John Human. "The Life and Art of John Hoppner (1758-1810)." Ph.D. diss., Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London, 1991.
- Hayes, John. British Paintings of the Sixteenth through Nineteenth Centuries. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1992: 129-131, repro. 131.
The canvas is twill woven; it has been lined. The ground is white, of moderate thickness. The painting is executed thinly and fluidly in opaque layers blended wet into wet; transparent glazes are used in the flesh tones. With the exception of the features and hat, contours are blended and imprecise. There is a pentimento in the ribbon descending from the left side of the sitter's hat, which originally extended half an inch lower. There is light abrasion of the glazes in the face, and the impasto has been slightly flattened during lining. There are no retouchings in the figure; there is extensive repainting in the bottom left corner, but it is uncertain whether the uniform appearance of the background is due to good condition or to extensive repaint. The thick natural resin varnish has discolored yellow; the residues of an earlier varnish are very dark.