Lady Pastard

Walter Robertson


Traditionally known as Lady Pastard, this romantically styled portrait shows the young lady in an autumnal landscape against a cloudy sky that threatens light rain, her arm resting on a tree stump draped with a blue shawl. She wears a classical décolleté dress, most likely in the gown-over-gown style, with a dusky pink ribbon sash and buttons on the sleeves. Her brown hair falls in curls over her shoulders, the lack of powder suggesting a date around 1795.

The portrait is in fine condition and is set in the original gold frame that is glazed on the reverse to show foiled blue glass.

The son of an Irish jeweller, Walter Robertson (1750-1801) studied at the Dublin Society School from 1765. He painted miniatures in his home city between 1768 and 1784 before moving across to London. In 1793 he accompanied his artist friend, Gilbert Stuart, to America where he was given the opportunity to paint a miniature portrait of George Washington. The portrait was subsequently destroyed in a fire but fortunately had already been reproduced as an engraving. Still consumed by wanderlust, Robertson set sail for India in 1795 and it was there that he died in 1801, aged just 51.

Item Ref. 7224

Size: framed, 95 x 80mm

Provenance: Edward Grosvenor Paine collection - Christie's Oct. 1996