James Watson after Sir Joshua Reynolds
16 x 21 inches
A portrait of Caroline Russell (1743-1811), who married George Spencer, 4th Duke of Marlborough, in 1762, with their first-born, Lady Caroline Spencer (1763–1813), who married Henry Agar-Ellis, 2nd Viscount Clifden.
The duchess is seated and directed to the left holding her daughter in outstretched arms. There are pillars in the background and landscaped grounds in the distance suggesting the splendour of the Blenheim estate. Lady Caroline was born in 1763 so she would be only 4 or 5 years old when Reynolds was commissioned to do the portrait. Looking at the artist's pocket book for the period it would appear that the Spencer and Marlborough families kept Reynolds very busy throughout the 1750s, 60s and 70s.