Duchess of Cannizzaro(1785-1841), Society hostess
Sitter in 1 portrait
Society hostess who inherited a fortune from her father, George Johnstone, Director of the East India Company. She married the impoverished Italian aristocrat Francis, Duke of Cannizzaro in 1814. The marriage gave him an income and her a title but there was little love between them. He returned to Italy with his mistress and Sophia took up a 'fiddler from a second-rate theatre in Milan'. Landseer's drawing corresponds with the diarist Charles Greville's description of her as 'very short and fat with rather a handsome face, totally uneducated but full of humour'.