17 May 2011

{Lady in White}


{Portrait by Edward Hughes, UK 1892}

The Countess of Essex, whose wedding, in 1893 was the social sensation of the year, is a tall, graceful woman with soft eyes and dark hair, and what someone happily called a ‘magnolia tinted’ complexion.
                 Her portrait, under the title of ‘A Lady in White’ was probably the ‘picture of the year’ when it was exhibited at the Royal Academy, and brought unqualified praise to Sir Hubert von Herkomer, R.A., who painted it. Lady Essex was one of the celebrated ‘Lovely Five’, as society delighted to call certain ladies renowned for their beauty. They were, in addition to herself, the Duchess of Sutherland, the Countess of Westmorland, the Countess of Lytton, and the Countess of Warwick. Lady Essex, like her husband, was greatly interested in sport and in animals. She was noted for fine taste, one of her hobbies being the collecting of miniatures, and in her boudoir at Cassiobury Park, Watford, she had over a hundred portraits of the belles and beaux of bygone times, all beautiful specimens of the miniaturist's art.

1 comment:

  1. I am confused. Herkomer is said to have painted "A Lady in White" in 1884, the model was Miss Katherine Grant. The same image is attributed to Edward Robert Hughes as painted in 1892 of Adele Grant, who married the Earl of Essex in 1893. Are there two paintings that are confused for each other? Or is there only one painting?


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