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Portrait of Mrs. George Collier
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Portrait of Mrs. George Collier, result 1 of 1

Item Details
Open Artstor
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England, 18th century
Portrait of Mrs. George Collier
Work Type
18th century
oil on canvas
Framed: 112 x 101 x 12 cm (44 1/8 x 39 3/4 x 4 3/4 in.); Unframed: 80 x 67.3 cm (31 1/2 x 26 1/2 in.)
Given to the Cleveland Museum in 1920 by the collector Jeptha H. Wade, this painting was thought to be an authentic work by Joshua Reynolds. However, after considerable study, the museum attributed it to a follower of Reynolds working in a similar style around the same time. This portrait depicts the wife of the captain (and later admiral) George Collier. The artist draws an analogy between this woman and Lesbia, a married woman who provided much artistic inspiration for the Roman poet Catullus (c. 84–c. 54 BC). The poet's writings document a love affair with Lesbia, and one poem in particular documents the death of the woman's beloved pet sparrow. The viewer can barely see the sparrow in this painting, since it lies on a table partially obscured by her right elbow. The muted colors evoke a sense of melancholy as the woman mourns with her head turned away from the viewer.
Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Collection: P - British before 1800
Department: European Painting and Sculpture
Provenance: (possibly Mary Horneck Gwynn, sister in law of the sitter (1823)
Sir William W. Knighton, Hampshire (1864, Christie's, London sale 21 May, 1885, no. 457
Mrs. Adelaide Ross
J. H. Wade, Cleveland (by 1913)
Possib;y Mrs. George Collier, possibly by inheritan
Gift of J. H. Wade
Accession Number
Image and original data from The Cleveland Museum of Art
Use of this image is in accordance with the applicable Terms & Conditions
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