In 1800 Robert Shurlock (1772–1847) married John Russell’s daughter, Henrietta Ann Jane Russell (1775–1849), near the artist’s house in Guildford, Surrey. This pastel was likely completed shortly after the marriage, and the companion portrait of Henrietta with the couple’s first child is also in this gallery. Here Mr. Shurlock is a dashing man at the height of his youth, wearing a silk neck scarf and a double-breasted coat with brass buttons. The artist executed several other portraits for his daughter’s family, all dating to 1801.
Robert Shurlock married Russell's eldest surviving daughter, Henrietta, in 1800, the year before this portrait was signed and dated. He came from Chertsey, near Russell's native Guildford in Surrey. His wife is pictured in a companion portrait (67.132) with the first of their fourteen children. Here Russell has characteristically stumped or blended his pastels together to produce a rich, naturalistic complexion.
Inscription: Signed and dated (upper right, in red chalk): [J] Russell R.A. pt. 1801.
Robert Shurlock, Chertsey, near Guildford, Surrey (until d. 1847); his son, Dr. Manwaring Shurlock, Eynsham, and later Chertsey (1847–d. 1899); his niece, Emily Shurlock, Oxford (from 1899); her nephew, Alan R. Shurlock, Mill Valley, California (by 1966–67)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Eighteenth-Century Pastels," August 6–December 29, 2013, no catalogue.
George C. Williamson. John Russell, R.A. London, 1894, p. 164, as Henrietta Ann Jane Russell's husband, Robert Shurlock, in a dark blue coat; the pastel in the collection of his son, Mainwaring Shurlock, Chertsey.
Katharine Baetjer. British Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1575–1875. New York, 2009, pp. 148–49, 151, no. 68, ill. (color).