Painted for the sitter's husband, Sir George Amyand Cornwall, 2nd Bt. [1748-1819], Moccas Court, Herefordshire; by descent to his grandson, the Reverend Sir George Cornewall, 5th Bt. (Arthur J. Sulley & Co., London); purchased 28 August 1909 by Peter A.B. Widener, Lynnewood Hall, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania; inheritance from Estate of Peter A.B. Widener by gift through power of appointment of Joseph E. Widener, Elkins Park; gift 1942 to NGA.
- Works by the Old Masters, and by Deceased Masters of the British School. Winter Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1883, no. 218.
- Leslie, Charles Robert and Tom Taylor. Life and Times of Sir Joshua Reynolds. London, 1865: 2:281, 287, 297, 312.
- Graves, Algernon and William Vine Cronin. A History of the Works of Sir Joshua Reynolds. 4 vols. London, 1899-1901: 1:194.
- Armstrong, Sir Walter. Sir Joshua Reynolds. London, 1900: 200.
- 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.
- Paintings in the Collection of Joseph Widener at Lynnewood Hall. Intro. by Wilhelm R. Valentiner. Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, 1931: 24, repro.
- Waterhouse, Sir Ellis. Reynolds. London, 1941: 77, pl. 255.
- Works of Art from the Widener Collection. Foreword by David Finley and John Walker. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1942: 6.
- Paintings and Sculpture from the Widener Collection. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1948 (reprinted 1959): 83, repro.
- Summary Catalogue of European Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1965: 114.
- European Paintings and Sculpture, Illustrations. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1968: 101, repro.
- European Paintings: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1975: 304, repro.
- Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. New York, 1975: no. 507, color repro.
- Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. Rev. ed. New York, 1984: 361, no. 505, color repro.
- European Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1985: 349, repro.
- Simon, Robin. The Portrait in Britain and America. Oxford, 1987: 66, pl. 47.
- Hayes, John. British Paintings of the Sixteenth through Nineteenth Centuries. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1992: 222-224, repro. 223.
The fine canvas is tightly plain woven; it has been lined. The ground appears to be white but is possibly covered by a dark, nearly black, imprimatura. The painting is executed in rich, fluid layers with extensive broadly applied glazes and impasto in the lights. Extensive traction crackle in the darks suggests the presence of bitumen. There are scattered discolored retouchings throughout the painting. The thick natural resin varnish has discolored yellow to a significant degree.