Probably painted sometime during 1783-84, this unusual painting is one of several portraits of Mary by Sir Joshua Reynolds. It exists in two forms, this finished version (currently in the Wallace Collection, London) and an incomplete version which would have shown more background and more of the figure (in the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut). Reynolds frequently painted several variations on the same picture, sometimes finishing only one of them, but occasionally completing two or three almost identical copies.
Mary herself never owned this painting, but is said to have admired it.1
1 Ingamells, J.; The Wallace Collection; Catalogue of Pictures: British, German, Italian, Spanish; (London, 1985), p156. [ back ]
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