Thomas Watson after Sir Joshua Reynolds
24.5 x 23 inches
Mezzotint, engraved by Watson after Reynolds and published in London in 1773.
In this achingly romantic full-length portrait of Mrs. Crewe in a rural setting we see Joshua Reynolds employing his most imaginative abilities to create such an iconic pastoral scene. Mrs. Crew sits in a bower, head in hand whilst reading what we assume to be a romantic novel of the period but could just have easily been a political tract (see below). She is surrounded by lambs (signs of purity) and her obedient lap dog lies peacefully at her feet. Everything about this print suggests serenity and even the simplicity of her dress alludes to a purity of mind. It is a fabulous example of "Et in Arcadia ego", the yearning for a paradise lost.