Ms Bacon, the Artist’s Sister

George Perfect Harding, 1813


By capturing his sitter in an informal pose as she sits twirling her hair and daydreaming, the artist has created an intimate and charming portrait. Shown in profile, the wonderfully named Ms Bacon is wearing a grey dress with a vandyked lace collar and cuffs, her long ash-brown curls decorated with a rope of pearls.

The portrait is signed along the arm of the chair – G. P. Harding 1813 – with further details on an old paper label on the backing board. Part of this label has disappeared and the handwriting is indistinct but the inscription is tantalising –

 … nn Bacon daughter . . . Bacon Esq … / … 24, 1809, aged 41 / … by her brother … 1813

Best known for his historical portraits, George Perfect Harding was a miniaturist like his father, a portrait copyist and an antiquary. Born in Kent around 1780, he had numerous brothers and sisters so it’s plausible that this lady may have been a married sister or a sister-in-law. Harding exhibited at the Royal Academy between 1802 and 1840. His work is well-represented at the National Portrait Gallery, British Museum and other galleries.

Watercolour on card, the portrait is set with an arched card mount within an ornate giltwood frame. Both frame and portrait are in fine condition.

Item Ref. 6055

Size: framed, 220 x 190mm (8¾ x 7½")