The woman depicted is the eldest daughter of Godolphin Rooper. In 1778 she married a rich London barrister, whom King George III created Baron Sunderland of Lake in 1785. A rich silk robe and chiffon shawl interwoven with gold hide the flesh-tints, which are executed in cold shades. Just as in the 17th-century Flemish painting that was so universally popular in England at the time, the sculpturally rendered figure is placed in front of a section of ideal landscape. This background, which is to an extent developed from the colour, and forms create an agreeable contrast with the graphic hardness of the figure. Reynolds, who was President of the Royal Academy, provides a striking example of 18th-century English classicism with this late work. Baron Sunderland paid his fee for this work in November 1786. This fact confi rms the dating of the Berlin painting.


  • Title: Lady Sunderland
  • Creator: Sir Joshua Reynolds
  • Date Created: 1786
  • Physical Dimensions: w147.5 x h238.5 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • External Link: Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Style: English
  • Copyright Text: Text: © http://www.prestel.com, Prestel Verlag / Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Rainer Michaelis // Photo: © http://www.bpk-images.de, b p k - Photo Agency / Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Jörg P. Anders
  • Collection: Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
  • Artist information: Joshua Reynolds had a great influence on English painting in the 18th century. He was a specialist in portraits and encouraged the 'Grand Manner' in painting, which relied on the idealization of the imperfect. As one of the founding members of the Royal Academy, he was its first president. When he was 17 years old he began his training with the portraitist Thomas Hudson in London. During 1750 and 1752 he travelled to Italy and completed his artistic education there. He was enthusiastic about the ancient world and the High Renaissance, especially about the works of Michelangelo and Raphael and his paintings subsequently display a notable Italian influence. Additionally, he introduced history painting and the role of tradition to English painting, while his own works largely lacked originality.
  • Artist Place of Death: London, United Kingdom
  • Artist Place of Birth: Plympton, Devon, United Kingdom
  • Artist Gender: male
  • Artist Dates: 1723-07-16/1792-02-23

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