Julia Floyd (1795–1859) was married in 1820 to the British statesman Sir Robert Peel, who twice served as Prime Minister and was an avid patron of Lawrence. The Frick portrait apparently was inspired by Rubens’ painting of Susanna Fourment known as the Chapeau de paille, which Peel had acquired in 1823. When Lawrence’s Lady Peel was first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1827, a critic claimed it to be among “the highest achievements of modern art.” Lawrence’s flamboyant and virtuoso style has come to epitomize the spirit of the Regency period.

Source: Art in The Frick Collection: Paintings, Sculpture, Decorative Arts, New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1996.


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