George Romney
English, 1734-1802

The Honorable Mrs. Anne Seymour Damer, 1779
Oil on canvas
Bequest of Sally Butzel Lewis, class of 1934
Period: 18th c
Classification: Painting
Dimensions: Framed: 37 3/8 x 32 1/4 x 2 5/8 in. (94.93 x 81.92 x 6.67 cm) Unframed: 30 x 25 in. (76.2 x 63.5 cm)
Signatures, Inscriptions and Markings v
Inscribed: (C, B frame member): HONBLE MRS DAMER.; (verso, UC, frame, on label): LADY ANNE DAMER by Romney/Received from Leo Butzel/6-18-54/Property of Mrs. Leonard T. Lewis; (verso, UR, frame, on label): Exhibition of Works of....(torn off)/Leeds, 1868./No. of... or Van:...(illegible)/No. of Object:...(illegible); UC, backing board, on label: To/Lady Damer/by Romey/ property of:/Mrs. Leonard T. Lewis; (tag hanging from wire): DIA; L1983.51; (verso, UR, T stretcher bar, under backing board, on label): 1077
Catalogue Raisonné: Ward & Roberts (1904) vol. 2 p. 40
Provenance v
Commissioned by Charles 3rd Duke of Richmond; Remained at his estate, Goodwood (sources: Ward & Roberts, Romney, A Biographical and Critical Essay with a catalogue RaisonnT, 1904); Purchased by Leo Butzel, 1932
Published References v
Ward & Roberts (1904, v. 2), p. 40
Exhibition History v
Leeds Art Treasures Exhibition, 1868, No. 1077
Description v
This engaging portrait of the lovely Anne Seymour Damer dressed in rich pink satin is more than just another pretty face, as biographical research shows. She was the granddaughter of John, Duke of Argyll, and the god- daughter and cousin of Horace Walpole, who was charged with her care as a child and who encouraged her to study art. She was unhappily married and when her debt-ridden husband committed suicide in 1776 she embarked seriously on her artistic career, becoming an accomplished sculptor of an- imals. She also carved portrait busts of luminaries such as Admiral Horatio Nelson and executed a full-length standing image of King George III, now in the British Museum. This portrait of her was commissioned by her brother-in-law, the Duke of Richmond. She sat to Romney five times between 21 April and 9 June 1779. The portrait resided at Goodwood, the Duke of Richmond’s estate, until 1932, when it was purchased by the father of its Vassar donor. Romney was not the only artist to capture Mrs. Damer’s likeness, as she was also painted by Angelica Kauffmann, Richard Cosway, Joshua Reynolds, and Giuseppe Ceracchi.
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