1 of 6 portraits of Mary Moser
by George Romney
oil on canvas, circa 1770-1771
30 in. x 25 1/4 in. (763 mm x 642 mm)
Purchased with help from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Art Fund (with a contribution from the Wolfson Foundation), 2003
Click on the links below to find out more:
Sitterback to top
- Mary Lloyd (née Moser) (1744-1819), Artist; founding member of the Royal Academy. Sitter in 6 portraits.
Artistback to top
- George Romney (1734-1802), Portrait painter. Artist associated with 160 portraits, Sitter in 5 portraits.
This portraitback to top
Moser specialised in flower-painting which, at that time, was considered to be a lowly genre. Her ambition for professional standing is nevertheless conveyed in Romney's portrait that shows her working on an oil painting. At a time when most male artists stressed the intellectual rather than technical aspects of their work, the oil palette she holds distinguishes Moser from the many women amateurs who practised flower-painting in the less-taxing medium of watercolours. The close focus, dramatic colours and sidelong glance also emphasise that her professional status did not compromise her feminine charms.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Eger, Elizabeth; Peltz, Lucy, Brilliant Women: 18th Century Bluestockings, 2008 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 13 March to 15 June 2008), p. 80
- Ribeiro, Aileen; Blackman, Cally, A Portrait of Fashion: Six Centuries of Dress at the National Portrait Gallery, 2015, p. 20
Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top
- Brilliant Women: 18th-Century Bluestockings (13 March 2008 - 15 June 2008)
Events of 1770back to top
Current affairsAugustus FitzRoy, 3rd Duke of Grafton resigns as Prime Minister and is succeeded by Frederick North, 2nd Earl of Guilford.
Art and scienceOliver Goldsmith publishes his poem The Deserted Village.
Philosopher and politician Edmund Burke publishes Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents discussing the limits of the King's authority.
17-year-old Thomas Chatterton, later hailed as a significant poet, commits suicide in a London garret.
Thomas Gainsborough paints his portrait of Jonathan Buttall, which later becomes known as The Blue Boy.
International'Townshend duties' on imports into the colonies are repealed, except for the duty on tea. However, this concession is soon followed by the Boston Massacre, in which British troops fire into an unruly crowd in Boston, killing five.
Captain Cook reaches the eastern coast of Australia, at a place which he names Botany Bay. He discovers the Great Barrier Reef when HMS Endeavour runs onto it. Cook claims New South Wales for the British.
See this portrait
On display in Room 12 at the National Portrait Gallery
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Help us conserve a portrait of a female adventurer, poet and medical pioneer