Pastel on laid paper lined with canvas
Support: Laid paper lined with canvas
Image: 60.7 x 45.7 cm (23 7/8 x 18 in.)
Gift of Edward B. Greene 1946.463
Catalogue raisonné: Johnson 57
Francis Cotes described his pastel works as "decorative in a very high degree in apartments that are not too large; for having their surface dry, they partake in appearance of the effect of Fresco, and by candle light are luminous and beautiful beyond all other pictures."
A founding member of the Royal Academy and one of the leading fashionable portrait painters of his generation, Francis Cotes was a pioneer of pastel painting in England. Here, in her marriage portrait, the young Lady Mary Radcliffe is regal in a Turkish-inspired, peacock blue mantle decorated with gold and trimmed with ermine. Pearls and feathers adorn her hair and a décolleté scarlet bodice reveals an expanse of porcelain skin.
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