James McArdell (1729-1765); after Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792)

Lady Ann Dawson (Née Fermor)

London, 1754


380 x 278 mm

This print reproduces one of the first portraits that Reynolds painted on his return from his studies in Italy. Lady Ann Dawson (1733-1769) is shown in the guise of Diana the virgin goddess of hunting, with a spear, crescent moon on her forehead, and a greyhound. The painting was made at the time of her engagement when such fanciful conceits were thought flattering.

McArdell produced many mezzotints after Reynolds’ portraits. They provided good publicity for an artist seeking to establish his reputation. there was also a ready market for images of the wealthy, powerful or famous.

Purchased 1939 (No.39.9)