Thomas Gainsborough (British, 17271788)
Oil on canvas; 92 1/4 x 60 1/2 in. (234.3 x 153.7 cm)
Bequest of William K. Vanderbilt, 1920 (20.155.1)
Gainsborough moved to London in 1774, and by 1777 was well established, exhibiting portraits of members of the royal family at the Royal Academy. This full-length of the statuesque Mrs. Elliotta Scottish lady of great beauty but easy virtuewas apparently commissioned by her lover, the first marquis of Cholmondeley, and was exhibited at the Academy in 1778. Its elegance, delicate coloring, and fluid handling reflect the influence of Anthony van Dyck.