George Clint

‘Miss Foote [as Maria Darlington in the Farce A Rowland for an Oliver]’, c. 1824, 42.5cm × 30.5cm [16.75” × 12”] James Connell & Sons, 1919, 300 copies @ 6gns.

The Farce may have been a stage adaptation of a work by John Wolcot (originally published in 1790 under the pseudonym of ‘Sylvanus Urban’, who also wrote under the nom-de-plume of ‘Peter Pindar’). In 1831 Maria Foote (daughter of Samuel Foote, sometime manager of the Plymouth Theatre) married Charles Stanhope, 4th Earl of Harrington, and thereby became the daughter-in-law of Jane Countess of Harrington, who had been painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds on a number of occasions. Richard Smythe had done mezzotints of three of these portraits, all published by Connell (1911, 1913 and 1915). A contemporary description ‘She was of medium height, her face oval, and her features expressive. She had an abundance of light brown hair. By those most under her influence the character of her acting was described as fascinating.’ She died in 1867 aged 69.

In 1824 W.Sams, London, published a mezzotint by Thomas Goff Lupton of this picture which it is to be assumed gives a more accurate portrayal of her face than the present mezzotint.