Mrs Fortescue

LL 3541


Mary Hunter was born in Crowland, Lincolnshire in 1738. She married the Right Honourable James Fortescue, an Irish Member of Parliament, in 1757. They lived at Ravensdale Park, near Dundalk, County Louth, Ireland. Mrs Fortescue is shown wearing an informal style of dress, known as a wrapping gown. Made from silk, it was worn by women in the privacy of their bedrooms or sitting rooms. Reynolds's pocket book records four sittings for this portrait. It also suggests it was sent to be copied. The left arm is not painted with Reynolds's usual skill, and the proportions are not quite right. The copy may have been an attempt to improve the work.