The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Mrs Mary Robinson
  • George Romney (1734 - 1802)
  • Mrs Mary Robinson
  • England
  • 1780 - 1781
  • Painting
  • Oil on canvas
  • Image size: 75.7 x 63.2 cm
    Object size: 101 x 88 x 10.5 cm
  • P37
  • West Room
Commentary
History
Further Reading
  • Romney presents Mary Robinson in a fairly plain but fashionable costume (this is in direct contrast to Gainsborough’s portrait of the sitter, which alludes to her celebrity). The facial expression is also notable, as she raises one eyebrow, as if tempting the viewer to challenge her. Romney exhibited the painting at the Royal Academy exhibition in 1782 and had it engraved by J. R. Smith; it was sufficiently well known for it to be used in a caricature of the sitter in 1783.
    The portrait remained in artist’s possession of the artist until his death and was bought for twenty guineas at his sale by the 2nd Marquess of Hertford.