Sir Joshua Reynolds

(1723-1792)


‘Jane, Countess of Harrington’ also known as Lady Fleming, (1775), 15⅞”×10¼”,

James Connell & Sons, 1911, 225 copies in colour @ 5 gns; 75 copies artist’s proof, b/w @ 4 gns. Painted in 1775

Her father, Sir John Fleming, 1st Bt, had died in November 1763 a few months after his creation (April) and four weeks after the death of his only son. As the baronetcy became extinct, presumably she was called ‘Lady Fleming’ out of courtesy. She married 3rd Earl of Harrington in 1779.

 For further information regarding the original painting, see David Mannings’ Sir Joshua Reynolds: A Complete Catalogue of the Paintings, the subject pictures catalogued by David Postle, Yale University Press, 2000, no. 1694.

‘Jane, Countess of Harrington, with her sons’ also known as ‘The Harrington family’ 44.0 × 33.0 cm  [17.31”× 13”]
published by James Connell & Sons, January 8th, 1916, 350 copies in colour @ 8 gns.

The Countess with the future 4th Earl and the Hon. Lincoln Stanhope. Painted between 1784-87

‘The Golden Age’, 10⅞”×8⅝”,  Thomas Agnew, 1908, 300 copies b/w @ 4 gns

‘The Duchess of Rutland’ (half length), 11⅞”×9⅞”, [30.1cm × 25.0cm]
published by James Connell & Sons, 1910, 175 copies in colour @ 4 gns; 50 copies b/w @ 4 gns

Mary Isabella, née Somerset (5th and youngest daughter of the 4th Duke of Beaufort) (1756-1831), married Charles Manners, 14th Earl and 4th Duke of Rutland (1754-1787) on 26 December 1775. She was a remarkably beautiful woman, a rival both in politics and fashion to Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire. After a period of grief and retirement on her husband’s death, she reappeared with augmented attractions; Sir Nathaniel Wraxall in his Memoirs(1884) maintained that he had never seen her more beautiful than in the winter of 1788. Reynolds painted her four times.

‘Jane, Countess of Harrington’ [titled ‘Lady Fleming’ by the publishers], 20¾” × 13”,
James Connell, November 1st 1913, 350 copies in colour @ 10gns, 50 copies b/w @ 6 gns. Painted in 1778.

Her father, Sir John Fleming, 1st Bt, had died in November 1763 a few months after his creation (April) and four weeks after the death of his only son. As the baronetcy became extinct, presumably she was called ‘Lady Fleming’ out of courtesy. She married 3rd Earl of Harrington in 1779.

 For further information regarding the original painting, see David Mannings’ Sir Joshua Reynolds: A Complete Catalogue of the Paintings, the subject pictures catalogued by David Postle, Yale University Press, 2000, no. 1695.

[The Hon.] ‘Miss Monckton’ 20¼”×12½”,
published by James Connell & Sons, 12 January 1917, 300 copies @ 8 gns

The original is in Tate Britain, from the display caption of which the following information is taken: ‘This portrait depicts the celebrated society hostess, Mary Monckton (1746-1840). A few years after this picture was painted, Fanny Burney described Mary Monckton as “between thirty and forty, very short, very fat, but handsome, splendidly and fantastically dressed, rouged not unbecomingly, yet evidently and palpably desirous of gaining notice and admiration. She has an easy levity in her air, manner, voice, and discourse.” At her parties, Mary Monckton made a point of receiving her guests seated, which is perhaps why Reynolds adopted a similar pose for her in the present portrait, which was painted c.1777.’

Daughter of John Monckton, 1st Viscount Galway, in 1786 she married as his second wife Edmund Boyle, 7th Earl of Cork and 7th Earl of Orrery. As Lady Cork, her love of social “lions” became more pronounced than ever. Among her regular guests were Canning and Castlereagh, Byron, Sir Walter Scott, Lord John Russell, Sir Robert Peel, Theodore Hook and Sydney Smith. She is supposed to have been the original of Lady Bellair in Disraeli’s Henrietta Temple, and Dickens is believed to have drawn on her for some of the peculiarities of Mrs Leo Hunter in The Pickwick Papers. Lady Cork had a remarkable memory, and was a brilliant conversationalist. She died in London on 30 May 1840. She was then ninety-four, but to within a few days of her death had been either dining out or entertaining every night. (From Wikipedia)

‘Miss Price as a Shepherdess’, 13¾”×11¼”,
published by G. Klackner, 1920, 375 copies @ 6 gns.


Painted 1769-70. The original is at Hatfield House from which source comes the following information: Sarah Bridget Frances Price (1766-1820) was the daughter of Chase Price, M.P. and his wife Sarah, the daughter of William Evelyn-Glanville. She married Bamber Gascoyne II. Frances Mary, 2nd Marchioness of Salisbury was their only child. The painting measures 49 x 40 in. It is on canvas and is currently not on display (it is in a private area of Hatfield House). Visits by ‘Miss Price’ are entered in Reynolds’ sitter books several times in 1769 and 1770. The portrait was commissioned and purchased by Chase Price and it cost £73 10s (the number of sittings has made some historians question whether two paintings were commissioned). The portrait remained in the possession of Mrs Sarah Price, who died in 1826. In her will she directed that it should remain at Childwall Hall. It first appears in the Hatfield House catalogue in 1845.

‘Lady Catherine Pelham-Clinton’ 37.0cm × 26.0cm [14½” × 10¼”]
published by L. H. Lefevre & Son, 1910, Copyright E.L. Knoedler, New York, 1911 175 copies in colour @ 4gns, 50 in b/w

Lady Catherine Pelham-Clinton (1776-1804), daughter of Henry Feinnes Pelham-Clinton (1750-1778), Earl of Lincoln and second son of the 2nd Duke of Newcastle (1720-1794). In 1800 she married William, Lord Folkestone (later 8th Earl of Radnor), but died in childbirth four years later. The portrait was painted in 1781.

It would appear that Richard Smythe used John Raphael Smith’s 1782 engraving as the basis of his mezzotint, as he follows the changes Smith made – the face no longer looks like Lady Catherine’s, her bow and sash have been lightened, and her multi-coloured bonnet is now almost entirely white.

Several auctioneers have incorrectly stated that the subject of this picture is Catherine Maria (‘Kitty’) Fisher (d.1767), a famous courtesan and close friend of the artist (see following entry). The British Government Art Collection notes the correct identity of the sitter, as does G.E.Cockayne’s Complete Peerage, vol. X, 1945, p. 719, note (c).

‘Kitty Fisher’, 37.0 × 26.7 cm. [14½” x 10⅜”], L.H. Lefèvre & Son, London, &
copyrighted in New York by E.L. Knoedler, 1910, 175 copies in colour and 50 in monochrome, both at 4 gns.

Painted in 1762 for ‘Mr Crewe’ in 1762, and the final payment for it made in 1774 (many payments made over a period of time was a common practice for Sir Joshua), it came by descent to the present owner. Her ermine-trimmed cloak is not intended to indicate noble status, but was a fashion of the time. A copy, now in the New York Public Library, shows her without the ermine, but wearing a miniature on her breast of, it is thought, the celebrated actor, David Garrick. For further information, see David Mannings’ Sir Joshua Reynolds: A Complete Catalogue of the Paintings, the subject pictures catalogued by David Postle, Yale University Press, 2000, vol. 1, p. 189, nos. 613 and 613a, and Vol. 2, illus. no. 618..

‘Kitty Fisher (1741–1767) was a prominent British courtesan. From her teen years onwards, Fisher carefully developed her public image, which was boosted by attention from Sir Joshua Reynolds and other artists. By emphasizing Fisher’s beauty, audacity, and charm, portraits and newspaper and magazine articles promoted her reputation and prompted spectators to view her with redoubled awe. She was one of the world’s first celebrities famous not for being an actress, musician or member of royalty, but simply for being famous. Her life exemplifies the emergence of mass media publishing and fame in an era when capitalism, commercialism, global markets, and rising emphasis on public opinion were transforming England.

‘Born Catherine Marie Fischer, she was, according to some sources, originally a milliner, whom either Commodore Augustus Keppel or perhaps Lieutenant-General (then Ensign) Anthony George Martin (d. 1800), nicknamed ‘the regimental cupid’,  reportedly introduced to London high life. With a flair for publicity, she became known for her affairs with men of wealth. Her appearance and dress were scrutinized and copied, scurrilous broadsheets and satires upon her were printed and circulated, and several portraits of her by Reynolds, including one in which she posed as Cleopatra Dissolving the Pearl were engraved. Prints from these engravings were sold to thousands of her fans, making Kitty Fisher one of the first ‘pin-up’ glamour girls.

‘In 1766, she married John Norris, son of the M.P. for Rye and grandson of Admiral Sir John Norris. She came to live at her husband’s family house, Hemsted (now the premises of the prestigious Benenden School). Some sources say she settled into the proper role of mistress of Hemsted, building up Norris’s fortune and enjoying the company of the local folk, who liked her for her generosity to the poor. Unfortunately, she died only four months after her marriage, some sources say from the effects of lead-based cosmetics (although this may be a confusion with the fate of her rival, Lady Coventry), some from smallpox or consumption, in 1767. She was buried in Benenden churchyard dressed in her best ball gown.’ (Wikipedia)

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