Sir Thomas Lawrence, master of elegant society portraiture in late Georgian England, was particularly gifted at lively characterization and colorful dramatic composition. This portrait of Julia Hankey was likely commissioned as a betrothal image, anticipating her marriage to Lt. Colonel the Honorable Thomas Seymour Bathurst in 1829. The face is exceptionally animated, with insouciantly tilted head, parted lips, and lively eyes. Surely this element of the composition was executed directly before the sitter. The picture was delivered in 1830, shortly after Lawrence's death, and remained in the Bathurst family until its purchase in 1986. It is therefore in unusually fresh condition.