Anne Dashwood (1743–1830), Later Countess of Galloway
Sir Joshua Reynolds (British, Plympton 1723–1792 London)
Oil on canvas
52 1/2 x 46 3/4 in. (133.4 x 118.7 cm), with strip of 7 1/8 in. (18.1 cm) folded over the top of the stretcher
Gift of Lillian S. Timken, 1950
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 513
The sitter was the daughter of Sir James Dashwood, Member of Parliament for Oxford (whose portrait by Seeman is in the Aitken Galleries). She sat for Reynolds four times in the month preceding her marriage on June 13, 1764, to John Stewart, Lord Garlies, later seventh earl of Galloway. The artist presents her in the traditional guise of a shepherdess with a crook, but wearing a fashionable gauze scarf, rubies, and pearls.
Her pallor may in part be accounted for by the fact that the flesh tones have faded.
Anne Dashwood, who belonged to a prominent and wealthy landholding family in Oxfordshire, was the second daughter of Sir James Dashwood, second Baronet, of whom the Museum owns a portrait by Enoch Seeman the Younger (56.190), and his wife, née Elizabeth Spencer. On June 13, 1764, Miss Dashwood married John Stewart, Lord Garlies (1736–1806), member of Parliament for Morpeth, who in 1773 would succeed as seventh Earl of Galloway. The couple had sixteen children.
In the three weeks prior to her marriage, Miss Dashwood gave Reynolds only four sittings, fewer than usual. The relief on the pedestal at right in the painting shows an appropriately amorous subject, Cupid Awaking Psyche. As Alexander Gourlay (1983) pointed out, the figure of Psyche was inspired by that of Iphigenia on the Medici Vase, of which Reynolds had made a careful drawing while in Rome in 1750. It was customary at the time to show an eligible young woman as a shepherdess, and the costume was also popular for masquerades and country outings. Reynolds may have been following the example of his teacher, Thomas Hudson, who in 1743 had painted Mary Carew as a shepherdess with a crook, a straw hat, and a nosegay of flowers, accompanied by a sheep. Hudson’s picture had been engraved in 1744 (Baetjer 2009, p. 72, fig. 60). In 1859 a painting ascribed to Reynolds that came up for auction, "Two Lambs, in a Landscape," was called a fragment of this portrait (sale, Christie's, London, June 13, 1859, no. 161, as "cut from a large picture of the Countess of Galloway, now in the possession of W. W. Burdon, Esq."); its current whereabouts are unknown. A mezzotint engraving by James Scott of 1863 shows the present work without any sheep and before seven additional inches of painted canvas were folded over the top (Engravings from the Works of Sir Joshua Reynolds, P.R.A., London, n.d., vol. 4, no. 30).
As often happens with Reynolds, the modeling tones have faded over time, and the face, drained of red lake, does not look as he intended.
[2010; adapted from Baetjer 2009]
Inscription: Signed and dated (right, above bas-relief): Reynolds 1764 pinxit
William W. Burdon, Haddon House, Newcastle (by 1859–62; his sale, Christie's, London, June 28, 1862, no. 31, for £42 to Cox); Joseph Gillott, Edgbaston, Birmingham (until d. 1872; his estate sale, Christie's, London, April 27, 1872, no. 292, for £315 to Colnaghi); [Martin Colnaghi, London, from 1872]; Mrs. Charles Stewart (in 1904); Captain Arthur Courtenay Stewart (by 1911–12; sold to Agnew); [Agnew, London, 1912; sold to Bevan]; G. L. Bevan (1912–19; sold to Agnew); [Agnew, London, 1919–25; sold to Fearon]; [Fearon Galleries, New York, 1925]; ?Mrs. James Creelman, New York (from 1925); Mrs. William R. (Lillian S.) Timken, New York (by 1932–50)
Rome. British Fine Art Palace. "International Fine Arts Exhibition (British Section)," April 1–October, 1911, no. 78 (lent by Captain Courtenay Stewart, R.N.).
Manchester. Thomas Agnew & Sons, Ltd. "Pictures by British Artists of the Eighteenth Century," October 1919, no. 14.
New York. Newhouse Galleries. "Van Dyck to Lawrence: The Development of English Portrait-painting," January 23–February 13, 1932, no. 9 (lent by Mrs. William R. Timken).
London. Royal Academy of Arts. "Reynolds," January 10–March 31, 1986, no. 54.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "AngloMania: Tradition and Transgression in British Fashion," May 3–September 4, 2006, unnumbered cat. (p. 153).
William Cotton. A Catalogue of the Portraits Painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds, Knt., P.R.A. London, 1857, p. 21, as Miss Dashwood, who sat in May 1764.
Charles Robert Leslie and Tom Taylor. Life and Times of Sir Joshua Reynolds. London, 1865, vol. 1, p. 240.
Algernon Graves and William Vine Cronin. A History of the Works of Sir Joshua Reynolds P.R.A. Vol. 1, London, 1899, vol. 1, p. 343, explain that the painting, in which the sitter appears as a shepherdess, is of an unusual size and was probably cut down from a whole-length that included two lambs in a landscape (sold, as a fragment of the present picture, by Bewick, at Christie's London, June 13, 1859, no. 161, for £4.5.0, bought in).
Walter Armstrong. Sir Joshua Reynolds, First President of the Royal Academy. London, 1900, p. 207.
A. L. Baldry. Sir Joshua Reynolds. London, , p. xxiv.
Sir Isidore Spielmann Notes on British Section by J. Comyns Carr inCatalogue of the International Fine Arts Exhibition: Souvenir of the British Section. Exh. cat., British Fine Art Palace. Rome, 1911, pp. 39, 51, 153, 155, no. 78, ill.
A. G. Temple. "The Works of Deceased British Painters at the International Exhibition at Rome, 1911." Connoisseur 30 (June 1911), p. 81.
Ralph Flint. "From 'Van Dyck to Lawrence' in Newhouse Show." Art News 30 (January 30, 1932), p. 6, ill. on cover.
Ellis K. Waterhouse. Reynolds. London, 1941, p. 53.
Alexander S. Gourlay and John E. Grant. "The Melancholy Shepherdess in Prospect of Love and Death in Reynolds and Blake." Bulletin of Research in the Humanities 85 (Summer 1982), pp. 169–79, 183, 185–89, figs. 1, 3 (reconstruction), assume that the portrait was full-length, with the lambs in a landscape at lower left; suggest that the sarcophagus is that of Lord Garlies's first wife, who died in childbirth, that the subject of the relief is a variant of the Wounding of Venus, and that Reynolds "elevate[d] a society portrait almost to the dignity of an allegorical or historical subject".
Alexander S. Gourlay. "Iphigenia in England: A Postscript to 'The Melancholy Shepherdess'." Bulletin of Research in the Humanities 86 (1983), pp. 223–26, identifies the Medici Vase (Florence, Uffizi), which Reynolds copied while in Rome in 1750, as the source for the female figure in the relief.
Nicholas Penny inReynolds. Exh. cat., Royal Academy of Arts, London. New York, 1986, pp. 221–22, no. 54, ill. pp. 104 (color) and 221, proposes that the portrait may have been only slightly larger; finds Gourlay and Grant's proposal unconvincing; reports Aileen Ribeiro's remarks on the costume.
Oliver Millar. "Reynolds at the Royal Academy." Burlington Magazine 128 (March 1986), p. 229.
Nicholas Penny in "Arising from the Reynolds Exhibition." Burlington Magazine 128 (October 1986), p. 761.
Renate Prochno. Joshua Reynolds. Weinheim, 1990, pp. 89–90, fig. 57, as one of two portrait sitters presented in the role of a shepherdess, the other being Lady Mary Leslie (The Iveagh Bequest, Kenwood).
Roy Strong. "The British Obsession: An Introduction to the British Portrait." The British Portrait 1660–1960. Woodbridge, England, 1991, p. 53, pl. 46.
Katharine Baetjer. "British Portraits in The Metropolitan Museum of Art." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 57 (Summer 1999), pp. 24–26, ill. (color).
David Mannings and Martin Postle. Sir Joshua Reynolds: A Complete Catalogue of His Paintings (The Subject Pictures catalogued by Martin Postle). New Haven, 2000, vol. 1, p. 160, no. 480; vol. 2, colorpl. 54, fig. 780, list four appointments with Miss Dashwood, May 21 and 26 and June 2 and 7, 1764; assume that the composition was full-length and included the lambs; find the pose reminiscent of Lely and similar to that in a 1759 portrait of "Mrs. Charles Proby" [vol. 1, p. 385, no. 1490; vol. 2, fig. 441].
Julius Bryant. Kenwood: Paintings in the Iveagh Bequest. New Haven, 2003, pp. 312, 314 n. 3.
Katharine Baetjer. British Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1575–1875. New York, 2009, pp. 70–72, no. 29, ill. (color).