The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Mrs Elizabeth Carnac
  • Joshua Reynolds (1723 - 1792)
  • Mrs Elizabeth Carnac
  • England
  • c. 1775
  • Painting
  • Oil on canvas
  • Image size: 240.4 x 146.4 cm
    Object size: 266 x 174 x 13.5 cm
  • P35
  • West Room
Commentary
History
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Elizabeth Catharine Rivett (1751-80), daughter of Thomas Rivett MP, was the second wife of Brigadier-General John Carnac (1716-1800) of the East India Company. The painting was begun in 1775, the year before the couple left for Bombay where Carnac had been appointed Second Member of Council. The free brushwork recalls Reynolds’ practice, when working on life-size whole-lengths, of placing his canvas close to the sitter so that he could walk back several paces in order to study the sitter and picture side by side before moving forward and rapidly applying his paint. The Carnacs were given less than four weeks notice of their departure for India in 1776 and apparently did not have time to collect their picture. Despite being engraved in 1778, it was still in Reynolds’s possession at his death and appeared in his sale in 1796.