'Miss Elizabeth Ingram', Joshua Reynolds, 1757
Oil on canvas, 127 x 101.5cm
Accession Number WAG6200
This work is very much a typical portrait of the day. The sitter is placed within a vaguely classical setting, the column to the left recalling the architectural, and by association, intellectual and moral authority of ancient Greece or Rome. Reynolds' handling of paint, especially in the dress, is however, exceptional and elevates the work above the average.
What makes this painting more interesting today is the manner in which it has aged. When painted, Miss Ingram would have had a healthy complexion. The use of unstable pink pigments has resulted in her current pale state. This gives the portrait a much more arresting quality than perhaps it had when it was new.