“THE THREE LADIES WALDEGRAVE.”
By Sir Joshua Reynolds, P.R.A.
The three beautiful daughters of James, second Earl Waldegrave.
The eldest, Elizabeth Laura, the lady in the centre, was born 24th March, 1760, married 5th May, 1782, her cousin George, Lord Chewton, afterwards fourth Earl Waldegrave, and died 29th January, 1816. Her sister on her right, Charlotte Maria, born 11th October, 1761, married 16th November, 1784, the Earl of Euston, afterwards fourth Duke of Grafton, died 1st February, 1808. The third, working at the tambour, is Anna Moratia, born 8th November, 1762, married 2nd April, 1786, Admiral Lord Hugh Seymour, died 1st September, 1801.
This picture (67in, by 56in. oblong) is one Reynolds’s masterpieces, and was painted in 1780-1 for Horace Walpole, who paid 300 guineas for it. It was in the Academy of 1781, and the extracts from contemporary criticisms quoted in Graves and Cronin’s “Reynolds” give some idea as to the enthusiasm in which it was received.
The picture remained at Strawberry Hill (Horace Walpole’s famous residence) until the sale in 1842, when it (with the table seen in the picture) was bought by Earl Waldegrave for 550 guineas; his widow left it to her fourth husband. Lord Carlingford, who lent it to the Grosvenor Gallery, 1884, and who sold it through Messrs. Agnew to Mr. D. Thwaites, in whose family it now is.
It has frequently been engraved, first by V. Green in 1781; by J. Brown, 1858,- by R. B. Parkes, 1863,- by G. S. Shury, 1875; and by Emil Wehrschmidt, 1895. There are four states of V. Green’s engraving, examples of which in recent years have sold for as much as 560 guineas, or nearly double the amount Walpole paid for the original picture.
Source: Engravings in mezzotint by Sydney Ernest Wilson. London, Vicars brothers 1912.
Support and Seduction: The History of Corsets and Bras (Abradale Books) by Beatrice Fontanel.
Thoughout the ages, women's breasts have been subjected to the endless whims of fashion.
From the ancient Greeks to Mae West and Madonna, this light-hearted book charts the changing shapes of female beauty. The elegant and amusing images - including fashion drawings, paintings, photographs, and film stills - illustrate the often surprising history of the garments women have worn for support - and seduction.