James McArdell after Sir Joshua Reynolds
Lady Elizabeth Montagu
Daughter of George Earl of Cardigan
12 x 15 inches
Lady Elizabeth (Betty) Montagu was the daughter and eventual heiress of George Brudenell, the 4th Earl of Cardigan and his wife Mary Montagu (daughter of the 2nd and last Duke of Montagu). The portrait was painted in 1754 when Betty was only eleven years old. It is a striking study with the young girl already demonstrating her aristocratic breeding, sitting straight backed and looking with a determined gaze over her left shoulder.
James McArdell was born in Dublin around the year 1729 came to London at the end of the 1740's. He specialised in mezzotint engravings after his contemporaries and the old master painters.
McArdell showed great talent from an early age and it was not long after his arrival in London that he was noticed by the great painters of the day such as James Northcote and Joshua Reynolds. Indeed, it was Reynolds who said that his own fame would be preserved by McArdell's engravings long after the paintings had faded away