Portrait of the Ladies Amabel and Mary Jemima Yorke

Portrait of the Ladies Amabel and Mary Jemima Yorke

c. 1761

Joshua Reynolds

(British, 1723-1792)

Oil on canvas

Framed: 224.5 x 201.3 x 11.4 cm (88 3/8 x 79 1/4 x 4 1/2 in.); Unframed: 196 x 170 cm (77 3/16 x 66 15/16 in.); Former: 223.5 x 198 x 9 cm (88 x 77 15/16 x 3 9/16 in.)

Bequest of John L. Severance 1942.645

Did you know?

Her family affectionately referred to Mary Jemima (at right) as "Mouse."

Description

Sisters Amabel (left) and Mary Jemima are shown playing on the grounds of their family’s country estate outside London. They wear loose, flowing garments invented specifically for the portrait rather than their usual outdoor dresses. Their father commissioned the painting to hang in the family’s city home in London’s St. James Square and it highlights their status as landowners. Joshua Reynolds painted this portrait after his return from Italy, where his studies inspired him to incorporate classical references. The famous ancient Roman Statue of a Girl with a Dove is echoed in Mary Jemima’s pose as she shields a dove from the family dog.

Video

Portrait of the Ladies Amabel and Mary Jemima Yorke
Visions of Childhood
Symbolism
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