James Watson after Sir Joshua Reynolds.
Caroline, Countess of Carlisle.
14 x 20 inches
Three-quarter length mezzotint, scrached-letter proof before title,engraved by James Watson after Reynolds and published in London in 1773.
Caroline, Countess of Carlisle (1753-1824) had married the fifth Earl of Carlisle in 1770, three years prior to the publication of this print but her first appointment with the society painter, Joshua Reynolds, dates from 1770 so it shows us the imperative nature of getting a portrait done as soon as someone entered the more illustrious aristocratic families of C18th England. She is depicted in a rolling landscape (presumably Castle Howard) with her arm around a tree trunk possibly denoting that she now lays claim to this vast estate. Her expression is serious and she avoids the artist's eye. She is fashionably but not fussily dressed and clutches a rose in her right hand the colour of which is obviously unclear in the mezzotint. A reference to the original oil, however, shows us it is a yellow rose, thus representing love, joy and new beginnings.