|Artist||Charles Corbutt (Richard Purcell) after Sir Joshua Reynolds|
|Published||[London c. 1762]|
|Dimensions||Image 310 x 246 mm, Plate 247 x 353 mm, Sheet 367 x 256 mm.|
A beautifully serene portrait of Miss Fordyce playing a stringed instrument, after Joshua Reynolds. Joshua Reynolds's account book shows that Walter Radcliffe paid for this portrait. Miss Fordyce may have been his mistress during the early 1760s. In its half length pose and the inclusion of the stringed instrument the lady is playing (similar to a lute), the portrait is reminiscent of Italian portraits of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Reynolds may have seen similar paintings during his trip to Italy in 1750-52. When this portrait was made, Reynolds was fast becoming one of the most fashionable portrait painters in London. He had just moved into a larger studio, taken on an apprentice and begun publicly exhibiting. The portrait emphasises the sitter's feminine beauty and availability in her turned head and exposed décolletage. The print is untitled, though later states contain the title and publication details in the lower margin.
Charles Corbutt was a pseudonym used by the Irish engraver Richard Purcell when plagiarising the work of others, usually for the publisher Robert Sayer.
Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792) was one of the most important figures of the eighteenth century art world. He was the first President of the Royal Academy and Britain's leading portrait painter. Through a series of lectures on the Discourses on Art at the Royal Academy he defined the style later known as the Grand Manner, an idealised Classical aesthetic. He had a profound impact on the theory and practice of art and helped to raise the status of portrait painting into the realm of fine art. A flamboyant socialite, Reynolds used his social contacts to promote himself and advance his career becoming one of the most prominent portrait painters of the period.
Chaloner Smith 29 i/iii, Russell 29 i/v, Hamilton p100 i/iii, O'Donoghue 2, Lennox-Boyd i/vii
Ex. Col.: Hon. Christopher Lennox-Boyd
Condition: Excellent proof impression before letters and un-cleaned inscription space.