Learning His Lines

Richard Cosway, attrib.


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 to be seen and admired.

The sitter in this unusual portrait is unknown (it has not been opened to check for an inscription) but in his flowing gown and with his close perusal of his book, he has the air of an actor preparing for a performance.

The portrait is set in the original gold frame (tests as 14/15ct) with an aperture on the reverse that reveals plaited brown hair.

Item Ref. JH006

Size: framed, 63 x 50mm

Provenance: Sotheby's 1981