Marianne Dorothy Harland (1759–1785), Later Mrs. William Dalrymple

Richard Cosway British

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 630

When this portrait was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1779, an art critic decried Cosway’s “painful and minute attention to little Circumstances,” which gave his work “a coxcomical and ridiculous air.” Indeed, the painting reveals Cosway’s minute attention to the furnishing of a fashionable, feminine interior, emphasizing such features as the dressing table bearing a pincushion, scent bottles, and a powder puff. Cosway shows his sitter, the daughter of a British vice admiral, in informal morning dress, as though receiving an intimate visitor. The harp Marianne Harland plays was closely associated with accomplished female amateurs, appearing, for example, in the work of Jane Austen.

Marianne Dorothy Harland (1759–1785), Later Mrs. William Dalrymple, Richard Cosway (British, Oakford, Devon 1742–1821 London), Oil on canvas

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