Painted for the sitter's husband, Davies Davenport [1757-1837], Capesthorne, Macclesfield, Cheshire; by descent to Sir William Bromley-Davenport [1862-1949]; (sale, Christie, Manson & Woods, London, 28 July 1926, no. 147); bought by (Duveen Brothers, London and New York); purchased April 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.
- Works by the Old Masters, and by Deceased Masters of the British School. Winter Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1878, no. 111.
- Works by the Old Masters, and by Deceased Masters of the British School. Winter Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1892, no. 17.
- Meisterwerke Englischer Malerei aus drei jahrhunderten, Secession, Vienna, 1927, no. 15, repro.
The somewhat coarse canvas is plain woven; it has been lined. The ground is white, smoothly applied and of moderate thickness. There are thin layers of grey and brown imprimatura except in the area to be occupied by the head. The painting is executed in thick, opaque layers, blended wet into wet, with slight impasto in the whites; only the details of the features are defined crisply over a dried underlayer. Some change in the color of the satin cloak is suggested by the presence of deeper reds beneath the pink of the lower portion. An x-radiograph confirms slight pentimenti in the fall of the drapery folds. There is slight solvent abrasion and flattening of the impasto during lining, a large area of retouching in the neck, and pronounced traction crackle in the brown foliage caused by bitumen, which has been infilled. The slightly pigmented natural resin varnish has been applied over residues of a deeply discolored coating most marked over the bituminous foliage at lower right.
- Ward, Humphry and William Roberts. Romney. 2 vols. London, 1904: 1:98, 101, 103-104; 2:41.
- Tietze, Hans. Meisterwerke europäischer Malerei in Amerika. Vienna, 1935: 229, repro. (English ed., Masterpieces of European Painting in America. New York, 1939: 229, repro.).
- Duveen Brothers. Duveen Pictures in Public Collections of America. New York, 1941: no. 289, repro., as Mrs. Davenport.
- Preliminary Catalogue of Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1941: 172, no. 105, as Miss Davenport.
- Book of Illustrations. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1942: 241, repro. 18, as Mrs. Davenport.
- Cairns, Huntington, and John Walker, eds. Masterpieces of Painting from the National Gallery of Art. New York, 1944: 134, color repro., as Mrs. Davenport.
- Paintings and Sculpture from the Mellon Collection. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1949 (reprinted 1953 and 1958): 116, repro., as Mrs. Davenport.
- Summary Catalogue of European Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1965: 116, as Miss Davenport.
- European Paintings and Sculpture, Illustrations. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1968: 103, repro., as Miss Davenport.
- European Paintings: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1975: 308, repro., as Miss Davenport.
- Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. New York, 1975: no. 515, color repro.
- Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. Rev. ed. New York, 1984: 365, no. 511, color repro., as Mrs. Davenport.
- European Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1985: 354, repro., as Mrs. Davenport.
- Hayes, John. British Paintings of the Sixteenth through Nineteenth Centuries. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1992: 237-238, repro. 238.