Monday, June 24, 2024

Multi Ritratti: Mary Robinson "Perdita"

My "Multi Ritratti" posts that present multiple portraits of the same subject -- usually by more than one artist -- are of people who are well-known.  Well, nearly all were well-known subjects at the time they posed, though some are almost totally obscure nowadays.

That is the case of this post's subject, Mrs. Mary Robinson (1757c. - 1800).  Her life was short and tempestuous.  Her fame was due to being an actress and, for a short while, mistress of England's Prince of Wales (later King George IV).  More detail can be found here on the Wallace Collection website.

That link points out that her portraits date from a limited period in the 1780s when her affair and acting career were flourishing.  Her portraits shown below are by important artists -- Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792) background here, George Romney (1734-1802) here, Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788) here, and the less-well-known-now John Hoppner (1758-1810) here, who was a fashionable portrait artist at the time.


Attributed to John Hoppner
Hoppner admired the work of Sir Joshua Reynolds, the link above mentioning that his colors tended to be brighter than Reynolds'.  The portrait shown here shows a glamorous lady,  dressed for her part as Perdita in Shakespeare's "The Winter's Tale."  What's remarkable is that the pose and most details are the same as found in the portrait below by Reynolds.  Did Hoppner (or some unknown painter) largely copy Reynold's painting?  What did Reynolds think of this?  I do not know.

By Joshua Reynolds
According to the Wallace link, this is credited as being the best likeness of  Robinson.  Not as attractive as shown in the previous work.

By George Romney
A less dramatic face here.  Similar pose to those shown above, but here she's dressed differently.

By Thomas Gainsborough
Said to be a poor likeness.  Also the head-neck-shoulders relationship strikes me as odd.

By Joshua Reynolds
Another Reynolds.  A bit sketchy.  But probably a decent likeness.

No comments: