Maria Rycroft

Sampson Towgood Roch, 1794


A late eighteenth century portrait of a lady with piercing brown eyes named Maria Rycroft (later Mrs Ripon). Maria is shown wearing a white cross-over gown with a frilled neckline, a rope of pearls on the sleeve and a blue sash waistband. Her long auburn curls fall over her shoulders and are dressed with a bandeau in a matching hue.

Set against a greenish-blue hatched background, the portrait is signed and dated bottom right – S Roch / 1794. The sitter’s name is inscribed on the reverse of the portrait within the frame. It is set in a gilt-metal frame with plaited hair reverse.

Sampson Towgood Roch / Roche (1757-1847) was the eldest son of William and Mary Roch of Youghal, Co. Cork. Despite being born deaf and dumb, he showed an early talent for drawing. He worked first in Dublin and Cork before moving for a time to Bath to join the many successful artists who worked there at the height of its popularity as a spa resort. Roch was held to be one of the most talented and sensitive miniaturists of his day. A distinguishing feature of his work is the incipient smile that he gives many of his sitters.

Item Ref. 5661

Size: 67 x 54mm