The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Frances, Countess of Lincoln
  • Joshua Reynolds (1723 - 1792)
  • Frances, Countess of Lincoln
  • England
  • 1781 - 1782
  • Painting
  • Oil on canvas
  • Size: 62 x 47 x 1.8 cm, unframed
    Frame size: 86.2 x 72 cm
  • P33
  • Reserve Gallery
Commentary
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Portraits of the sisters Lady Elizabeth Seymour-Conway (1754-1825) and Frances, Countess of Lincoln (1751-1820) were commissioned by their father, Francis Seymour-Conway, Earl of Hertford (created 1st Marquess of Hertford in 1793) in 1781. Both paintings are now in the Wallace Collection (see P31). Reynolds had previously painted a number of portraits of the Earl’s children, including three portraits of his sons in the 1760s and one of his eldest daughter, Anne, in 1775.

    The portraits of Elizabeth and Frances were conceived as a pair. Pendant portraits of siblings, particularly sisters, were unusual in the eighteenth century.

    Frances married Henry, Earl of Lincoln (the second son of the 2nd Duke of Northumberland) in 1775. The couple had two children before the Earl’s death in 1778. When Frances sat for the present picture she was a widow. Her 'penseroso' pose, with the chin resting on the hand, signified melancholic contemplation.