Portrait of Catherine Grey, Lady Manners

Portrait of Catherine Grey, Lady Manners

1794

Thomas Lawrence

(British, 1769-1830)

Oil on canvas

Framed: 280.5 x 185 x 9 cm (110 7/16 x 72 13/16 x 3 9/16 in.); Unframed: 255.3 x 158 cm (100 1/2 x 62 3/16 in.)

Bequest of John D. Rockefeller, Jr. 1961.220

Did you know?

Catherine was an Irish poet who wrote of longing to escape the fashionable world.

Description

The Irish poet Lady Manners rejected as “unflattering” this portrait representing her as the goddess Juno, symbolized here by the peacock. Thomas Lawrence exhibited the painting at the Royal Academy in 1794 with the label “to be disposed of [sold],” but it was still in the artist’s collection when he died. Though it offended Lady Manners, the painting displays all the hallmarks of Lawrence’s flamboyant style:dazzling, fluid brushwork and an innovative use of unconventional colors that helped secure his role as the most fashionable portrait painter in turn-of-the-century Britain.

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