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Unknown woman, formerly known as Elizabeth Christiana Cavendish (née Hervey), Duchess of Devonshire

Unknown woman, formerly known as Elizabeth Christiana Cavendish (née Hervey), Duchess of Devonshire, by John Westbrooke Chandler, circa 1790 -NPG 2355 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Unknown woman, formerly known as Elizabeth Christiana Cavendish (née Hervey), Duchess of Devonshire

by John Westbrooke Chandler
circa 1790
49 1/2 in. x 37 3/4 in. (1257 mm x 959 mm)
NPG 2355

Inscriptionback to top

Signed below centre right: J W C.

This portraitback to top

NPG 2355 was bequeathed as the ‘Portrait of a Lady said to be Lady Betty Foster [later Duchess of Devonshire] by Chandler’. It is certainly by Chandler, whose signature was subsequently discovered, but doubts concerning the sitter’s identity have remained. The features do not readily agree with the Duchess’s portraits by Reynolds, Kauffmann and Lawrence, and the identity seems first to have been doubted by C. F. Bell - though he allowed that ‘the differences are not perhaps so great as between the different portraits of her predecessor Georgiana'. [1]
The principal interest of NPG 2355 lies in the artist, the natural son of Lord Warwick, he became unstable and died under restraint in 1807.

Footnotesback to top

1) Letter from C. F. Bell, 16 December 1929; NPG archive.

Physical descriptionback to top

Blue-grey eyes, grey powdered hair, wearing a bottle-green dress with white scarf and cuffs, a red curtain draped behind her.

Provenanceback to top

Bequeathed by the 2nd Baron Revelstoke 1929.

Exhibitionsback to top

Bath Preservation Trust 1976-.


This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Ingamells, National Portrait Gallery: Mid-Georgian Portraits 1760-1790, National Portrait Gallery, 2004, and is as published then. For the most up-to-date details on individual Collection works, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text.

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