Isaac and Ede Antique Prints
Watson Cotes Boynton

James Watson after Francis Cotes

Mary, Lady Boynton

A full-length mezzotint portrait by James Watson after the painting by Francis Cotes; published by Sayer in London in 1770.

Lady Boynton is depicted standing in a rural setting resting her right arm on a classical plinth. She is holding a sprig of honeysuckle in her right hand and holding back her gown with her left. She wears her hair up high with a string of pearls. Her dress is very elaborate with a huge amount of lace ornamentation. Mary was the eldest daughter of James Heblethwayte. She was married twice; firstly in 1768 to Sir Griffith Boynton and secondly, after Boynton's death in 1778, to John Parkhurst of Catesby Abbey. This portrait would have been commissioned early in her first marriage to celebrate her new status.

James Watson was born in Ireland in 1740 and died in London at the age of 50 in 1790. He was known to be a perfectionist and had a reputation for scrapping plates that did not meet his high standards, choosing to start again rather than rework or alter a plate, as less scrupulous artists would have done. His output was prolific, and his portraits include many of the leading figures of the day. This portrait is after Francis Cotes, an accomplished English artist who adopted the mannerisms and technique of Sir Joshua Reynolds in the highly competitive market of aristocratic portraiture in Georgian London.


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