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Probably Dorothy, Viscountess Townshend

3 of 13 portraits on display on Floor 2: Getting the Picture at Beningbrough Hall

Probably Dorothy, Viscountess Townshend, studio of Charles Jervas, circa 1715 - NPG 2506 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Probably Dorothy, Viscountess Townshend

studio of Charles Jervas
oil on canvas, circa 1715
48 3/4 in. x 36 1/4 in. (1238 mm x 921 mm)
Bequeathed by Miss Lillie Belle Randell, 1931
Primary Collection
NPG 2506

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Sitterback to top

Artistback to top

  • Charles Jervas (1675-1739), Portrait painter. Artist associated with 40 portraits, Sitter in 4 portraits.

This portraitback to top

We used to think this represented Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, the writer and traveller, who lived in Constantinople (Istanbul) between 1716 and 1718. We now know it is a portrait of the wife of Charles, 2nd Viscount Townshend. Like many aristocratic women of her time, Dorothy was not involved in public life nor did she travel abroad. Although she is shown in exotic fancy-dress, her identity as the wife of a notable husband is suggested by the miniature portrait on her bracelet. More detailed information on this portrait is available in a National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue, John Kerslake's Early Georgian Portraits (1977, out of print).

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