Skip to Main Content


Painted for the sitter's husband, Thomas Graham, later 1st baron Lynedoch [1748-1843], Balgowan, Perthshire; by descent to his second cousin, Robert Graham, 2nd Baron Lynedoch [d. 1859], who bequeathed it to his nephew, James Maxtone Graham [1819-1901]; by descent to his son, Anthony G. Maxtone Graham [1854-1930], Redgorton, Perthshire. (P.& D. Colnaghi & Co., London), by 1909;[1] acquired the same year by (M. Knoedler & Co., London); purchased 21 March 1910 by Peter A.B. Widener, Lynnewood Hall, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania;[2] inheritance from Estate of Peter A.B. Widener by gift through power of appointment of Joseph E. Widener, Elkins Park; gift 1942 to NGA.

Exhibition History

Pictures by Italian, Spanish, Flemish, Dutch, French and English Masters, British Institution, London, 1860, no. 182.
National Portraits, South Kensington Museum, London, 1867, no. 463.
Recorded as Burlington Fine Arts Club, London, 1906 (if so, ex-cat.)
Works by the Old Masters and Deceased Masters of the British School. Winter Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1907, no. 112.
Cent Portraits de Femmes, Salle du Jeu de Paume, Paris, 1909, no. 5.
Old Masters, M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., New York, 1912, no. 11.
Paintings by Thomas Gainsborough, R.A. and J.M.W. Turner, R.A., M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., New York, 1914, no. 12.
The Four Georges, Sir Philip Sassoon's, 45 Park Lane, London, 1931, no. 52 (illus. souvenir, 7, repro.).
Gainsborough's Beautiful Mrs. Graham, National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh, 2003, pl. 17.
Jamestown 2007 [400th anniversary of Jamestown], Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, no catalogue.

Technical Summary

The lightweight canvas is plain woven; it has been lined. An x-radiograph reveals cusping along the bottom edge, evidence that the painting has not been cut down. The ground, presently whitish brown possibly due to absorption of darkened media, may originally have been pure white and is exceptionally thin. The painting is executed in thin, translucent layers with more opaque paint in the lights of the flesh tones and sky and some areas of the foliage; thin layers of media-rich glazes have been applied in the costume and foliage. An area of original paint at the extreme bottom edge, which has been protected from the damaging effects of light by the rabbet of the frame, indicates that a rich deep red glaze was originally employed in the drapery and has faded considerably; the red glaze was probably used in the flesh tones as well. There are moderate retouchings in the face and neck, perhaps as a result of abrasion damage. The natural resin varnish has discolored yellow to a considerable degree.


Graves, Henry, & Company. Engravings from the Works of Thomas Gainsborough, R.A.. London, (c.1880): no. 64 (mezzotint by Charles Tomkins, published 1868).
Armstrong, Sir Walter. Gainsborough & His Place in English Art. London, 1898: 196; popular ed., London, 1904: 268.
"Masterpieces by Gainsborough in American Private Collections." The Lotus Magazine 5, no. 5 (February 1914): 326-327, repro.
Roberts, William. Pictures in the Collection of P.A.B. Widener at Lynnewood Hall, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania: British and Modern French Schools, Philadelphia, 1915: unpaginated, repro.
Paintings in the Collection of Joseph Widener at Lynnewood Hall. Intro. by Wilhelm R. Valentiner. Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, 1923: unpaginated, repro.
Maxtone Graham, E. The Beautiful Mrs. Graham and the Cathcart Circle. London, 1928: repro. betwn. 262-263, 1-2, 46-47, 56-67, 194, 303-309.
Paintings in the Collection of Joseph Widener at Lynnewood Hall. Intro. by Wilhelm R. Valentiner. Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, 1931: 26, repro.
"The Gainsborough Exhibition in Cincinnati." The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs 59, no. 341 (August 1931): 86.
Tietze, Hans. Meisterwerke europäischer Malerei in Amerika. Vienna, 1935: 223, repro. (English ed., Masterpieces of European Painting in America. New York, 1939: 223, repro.).
Works of Art from the Widener Collection. Foreword by David Finley and John Walker. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1942: 5.
Paintings and Sculpture from the Widener Collection. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1948 (reprinted 1959): 85, repro., as The Hon. Mrs. Graham.
Waterhouse, E. K. "Preliminary Check List of Portraits by Thomas Gainsborough." The Volume of the Walpole Society 33 (1948-1950): 50, 124, 127.
Whittet, George Sorley. "A Gallery of Art Dealers: P. & D. Colnaghi." The Studio 142, no. 703 (October 1951): 116, repro.
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. New York, 1956: 48, repro., as The Honorable Mrs. Graham.
Waterhouse, Sir Ellis. Gainsborough. London, 1958: no. 322.
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. New York, 1963 (reprinted 1964 in French, German, and Spanish): 319, repro.
Levey, Michael. "Marie-Anne Collot and Miss Cathcart." The Burlington Magazine 107, no. 753 (December 1965): 633.
Summary Catalogue of European Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1965: 55, as The Honorable Mrs. Graham.
National Gallery of Art. European Paintings and Sculpture, Illustrations. Washington, 1968: 47, repro., as The Honorable Mrs. Graham.
European Paintings: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1975: 142, repro.
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. New York, 1975: no. 499, color repro.
Scotoni, Susanna. "La Peinture Anglaise." Artibus et Historiae: 1, no. 2 (1980): 89.
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. Rev. ed. New York, 1984: 357, no. 497, color repro., as The Honorable Mrs. Graham.
European Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1985: 165, repro.
Hayes, John. British Paintings of the Sixteenth through Nineteenth Centuries. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1992: 84-87, repro. 85.
Rosenthal, Michael. The Art of Thomas Gainsborough: a little business for the Eye. New Haven, 1999: 158, 160, color repro. 161.
Quodbach, Esmée. "The Last of the American Versailles: The Widener Collection at Lynnewood Hall." Simiolus 29, no. 1/2 (2002): 67, 95.

Related Content

  • Sort by:
  • Results layout:
Show  results per page
The image compare list is empty.