1767 Lady Mary Fox wearing a Brunswick gown by Pompeo Batoni (location unknown to gogm)

This is the Trinity Access to Research Archive (TARA) writeup for this portrait:  "Title:  Lady Mary Fox, later Baroness Holland (d. 1778)

Author:  Batoni, Pompeo (Italian painter and draftsman, 1708-1787)

Issue Date:  8-Jun-1982

Citation:  Greater London Council. Catalogue of 'Pompeo Batoni (1708-87) and his British Patrons'. The Iveagh Bequest, Kenwood, Hampstead Lane NW37JR, 8 June - 30 August 1982. Published by GLC. p 56, Cat no. 25

Description:  'The sitter was the eldest daughter of John Fitzpatrick, 1st Earl of Upper Ossory and Lady Evelyn Leveson Gower, eldest daughter of John, 1st Earl Gower. She married the Hon. Stephen Fox, MP (died 1774), afterwards 2nd Lord Holland, in 1766. She died of consumption in 1778, four years after the death of her husband, leaving two children, Caroline and Henry Richard, 3rd Lord Holland. Lady Mary Fox and her husband spent the winter of 1766-67 in Italy on what was presumably their wedding tour, when they were in Naples with his parents, family and friends. They left for Rome early in March 1767, about a week sooner than the Hollands, and stayed there long enough for Lady Fox to sit for her portrait to Batoni and to make the acquaintance of Piranesi, who later dedicated a plate in 'I Vasi, Candelabri, Cippi e Sarcophagi' (1778) to her. In April they rejoined the Hollands in Florence. In spite of the inscribed date of 1767 on the reverse of the canvas, the portrait apparently remained unfinished after the sitter had returned home. The sitter is shown, in one of Batoni's most attractive portraits of a woman, in a grey travelling costume called a German habit or a Brunswick. This was adapted from the masculine riding habit and consisted of a jacket, here fitted to the body, and a skirt, usually of a matching fabric, in this case a grey silk. With its wrist-length sleeves and hood, this was a practical and yet feminine costume, with its ruched decoration and pink and white striped ribbons at the elbow, pinned into the lace jabot at the neck, and trimming the lace headdress. By the middle of the century such costumes had replaced for English women travellers the earlier more masculine riding habit. This type of dress is however unique in Batoni's work, and is only rarely portrayed by other artists, the exception being Francis Cotes in a number of portraits of this same decade. In his portraits of British women, Batoni discards the usual Grand Tour trappings, and the presentation here, as with the 'Louisa Grenville' is simple and direct. The portrait is very English in feeling, perhaps coming closest in reticence, and its delicacy both of coloring and of mood, to the female portraits of Allan Ramsay. Lady Fox had been painted before her marriage by Gainsborough in the winter of 1764-65 and was to sit to Reynolds in 1766-69.' (Greater London Council, 55)"

Lady Mary wears a complete Brunswick gown with double sleeves and hood and a jacket in this 1767 Batoni portrait.

Keywords:  1767, Batoni, Fitzpatrick family, Fox family, Baroness, Irish, straight coiffure, hat, jacket, high enclosing neckline, bows, jabot, lace, hood, elbow length tight bottom flared over-sleeves, long tight under-sleeves, ruching, cuffs, buttons, full skirt, Brunswick gown


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