The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of February 21, 2024

Two Veiled Young Women, probably Lilla Amnani and her sister

Two Veiled Young Women, probably Lilla Amnani and her sister

1786
Location: not on view

Did You Know?

The unspecific attire of these two ladies, with vaguely Ottoman robes and vaguely Greek headdresses, has led scholars to believe that the artist contrived the ensembles from a costume book rather than from specific people.

Description

Richard Cosway was a prolific painter in London, most well-known for his portrait miniatures and drawings, which he made both on commission and as personal exercises or mementos. This drawing features two women who may be fantasized versions of the two wives of Sidi Hadji Abdurrahman Adja, a Tripolitan ambassador who visited London in 1786. A published account of the ambassador’s home life circulated around this time. Cosway may have invented the ladies as a form of novelistic intrigue when he made a drawing featuring the ambassador.
  • Richard Cosway (the artist) [1742–1821]
    Maria Hadfield Cosway (1760-1838), Lodi
    Gifted by the above as part of a large collection to the College Collegio delle Dame Inglesi, Lodi
    1948
    Sisters of Charity of Maria Santissima Bambina, Lodi
    Acquired from the above by Commander Gerald F. Barnett (1926-2011), Hampshire
    2015
    Anthony Landsberg, London, England
    David S. Lavender Antiques (sold as Abraham Pascalrid and his two wives)
    2015–19
    Private collection, UK, until 2019
    ?–2023
    (Philip Mould & Company, London, England), sold to The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
    June 5, 2023–
    The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
  • Ferrari, Emma, “I Disegni di Riccardo Cosway nella Biblioteca di Lodi,” Rassegna d’Arte XIII (1913) 144-147, p. 145
  • {{cite web|title=Two Veiled Young Women, probably Lilla Amnani and her sister|url=false|author=Richard Cosway|year=1786|access-date=21 February 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

Source URL:

https://www.clevelandart.org/art/2023.47