A Gentlewoman

Richard Cosway (1742-1821)


The multiple layers of frills and ruffles on this mature lady’s attire are finely captured in this portrait and must have presented the artist, Richard Cosway, with an interesting challenge. Painted around 1790, the portrait shows a genteel lady with grey hair, possibly powdered, wearing a white dress with a frilled neckline and handkerchief fill-in together with a frothy cap fastened under her chin with a blue ribbon bow.

The portrait is in fine condition and is set in the original gold frame, the reverse with foiled blue glass surrounding plaited brown hair within a gold-mounted aperture. The glass has a very small scratch to the top front edge.

Richard and Maria Cosway were the arbiters of Regency fashion and their studio was like a magnet for the fashionable and would-be fashionable of London society including those prominent in the arts. Flamboyant in his dress, Cosway was an excellent self-promoter and frequented public events like the theatre and picture sales just to be seen and admired.

Ivory Registration: BFP316XC

Item Ref. 7155

Size: framed, 75 x 64mm + bail