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Accompanies the major exhibition

Richard Cosway (1742-1821)

Maria Fitzherbert c.1789

Pencil and watercolour | 30.1 x 22.0 cm (image) | RCIN 935221

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A drawing of Maria Anne Fitzherbert, full length, seated before a tree; looking out at the viewer, with a book held open in her lap and her right arm extended; with a small dog to her right, and a dove in the tree to her left. She wears a miniature around her neck with a portrait of George, Prince of Wales (later George IV).

This drawing is a superb example of Cosway's draughtsmanship. It was probably commissioned by George, Prince of Wales, but the artist had not been paid for it by 1820, when it was included in a list of unpaid commissioned from the prince. Cosway charged 40 guineas for this work, a significant sum.

The drawing was reproduced as a stipple engraving by John Condé, published (by the printmaker) in 1792. An impression of this print in the Royal Collection (RCIN 654553) was probably also purchased by George IV when Prince of Wales.