Georgian portrait miniature of a lady believed to be Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire, (1757-1807) a cameo of a Gentleman around her neck
Georgian portrait miniature of a lady believed to be Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire, (1757-1807) a cameo of a Gentleman around her neck
Georgian portrait miniature of a lady believed to be Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire, (1757-1807) a cameo of a Gentleman around her neck
Georgian portrait miniature of a lady believed to be Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire, (1757-1807) a cameo of a Gentleman around her neck

Georgian portrait miniature of a lady believed to be Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire, (1757-1807) a cameo of a Gentleman around her neck

1791 United Kingdom

Offered by Ellison Fine Art

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gold coloured frame

As well as painting miniatures, Henry Burch is known to have executed a number of cameos, it is possible therefore that he was responsible for the cameo seen about the neck of the present sitter. If the sitter is indeed Georgiana, the likely candidate of the subject of the cameo is Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey with whom she had an affair, in the same year that this miniature was painted, she became pregnant with his child. The high balding forehead and long nose seen in the cameo is similar to other known images of the Earl.

Georgiana was a Lady of considerable beauty whose portrait was taken by many including Reynolds and Downman. She enjoyed her life as a leading lady of fashion and politics in the ton. A friend of Queen Marie Antoinette of France, they copied each other's fashions, including excessively tall hairstyles and large hats. Georgiana was also a leader of the Whig movement, hosting popular salons at Devonshire House in London for all the prominent Whigs of the time.

Desperate for a friend she insisted that Lady Elizabeth Foster, who was divorced, live with her and subsequently the menage a trois began. Lady Elizabeth bore Georgiana's husband two illegitimate children. After the birth of her son, Georgiana felt free to have an affair of her own. She fell in love with Charles Grey, later to become an earl and a prime minister, and bore him a daughter, who was raised by the child's paternal grandparents.
Good
Albion Collection, Bonhams, 22 April 2004
Dimensions
Height 6.70 cm (2.64 inches)
Stock Code
5109
Medium
watercolour on ivory
Signed/Inscribed
Signed on reverse and dated H Burch/Pinxit/ 1791,
Ellison Fine Art

Ellison Fine Art
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