A Portrait of the Honourable Harriot Marsham
London, the late 1770s
Oil on canvas
Harriot Marsham (1721-1796) was the unmarried daughter of the first Baron Romney.
Gainsborough produced this commissioned portrait of her in her fifties, shortly after his move from Bath to London in 1774. It is painted on a standard size canvas of 30 by 25 inches for which he commonly charged 25 guineas. Typically, for such an intimate portrait, the half-length figure is framed in a fictive stone oval.
Gainsborough was at the height of his powers in the 1770s, famed for such small portraits, as well as more flamboyant full-length figures, and rustic landscapes.
Purchased 1946 (No.46.9)