Mrs Thomas Scott Jackson

14 January 2010

A sumptuous portrait by George Romney of the wife of a Director of the Royal Bank of England, painted between 1770 and 1773 and very much in the Grand Manner.

Romney’s work is very similar to that of Gainsborough in theme and approach as both favoured rather windswept, romantic paintings of sumptuously dressed ladies standing outside. However, Romney’s brushwork is very different to that of Gainsborough and lacks the latter’s freedom and lightness of touch.

Mrs Thomas Scott Jackson wasn’t as pretty as Mrs Graham but was clearly very comely nonetheless. I think that Romney was probably a very middle of the road choice for a sitter who didn’t want the heavy handed grandeur of Reynolds and wasn’t sure about the almost impressionistic effects produced by Gainsborough.

Just look at the wonderful way that he has painted the rich silk of his sitter’s gown and the intricate folds and layers of her ‘Turkish’ styled bodice.

The trees in the background have a very Gainsborough feel to them, and are painted with great deftness and lightness, probably from a distance to give a feathery, soft appearance.

Ah, I love eighteenth century shoes!

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