Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Angels' Heads

From Catherine Curzon:
This unusual painting depicts five differing studies of the head of  his infant subject, Lady Frances Isabella Keir Gordon. Lady Frances was the five year old daughter of Frances Ingram-Shepheard and her husband, Lord William Gordon, who had once made scandalous headlines thanks to his youthful elopement with one of George III's old flames.

Now years later and steeped in respectability, Lord William commissioned the portrait in summer 1786. Over the months that followed, Reynolds worked tirelessly on the painting, eventually completing it in March 1787. The canvas was displayed at the Royal Academy and Reynolds took as his inspiration for the style a drawing of cherubs' heads by Carlo Maratta. (Read more.)

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