This portrait is regarded as Romney’s masterpiece. It was commissioned by Granville, 2nd Earl Gower, and portrays his children. The figure on the right, holding a tambourine, is Lady Anne, Lord Gower’s daughter by his second wife. The younger children are his son and daughters from his third marriage: (left - right) Lady Georgina, Lady Susan, the Hon. Granville and Lady Charlotte Sophia.

Romney visited Italy in 1775 to study the Renaissance masters and this portrait reveals his new interest in classical themes and poses. The statuesque figure of Lady Anne on the right contrasts with the rhythmical movement of the other children who dance in a ring. This composition was probably inspired by a May Day dance witnessed by Romney in Nice, which reminded him of “the scenes of Arcadia”. The picture embodies the classical virtues of grace and innocence, and succeeds in portraying the individual character of the children.


  • Title: The Gower Family: The Children of Granville, 2nd Earl Gower
  • Creator: George Romney
  • Date: 1776/1777
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 203 x 235
  • Artist's Dates: 1734-1802

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