Anne Townshend, (née Montgomery), Marchioness Townshend (1754-1819)

  • About the work
    One of Reynolds’ typical paintings of aristocratic figures, this full-length portrait shows Anne, Viscountess Townshend (1754–1819) in a landscape standing against a pedestal decorated with the mythological scene of the Judgement of Paris. Townshend’s right arm rests on her red velvet and ermine cloak while she adopts a meditative pose. She faces the viewer,wearing elegant light mauve silk dress with a green velvet belt. The second wife of George Twonshend, 1st Marquess Townshend (1724–1807), Anne served as Mistress of the Robes to Caroline of Brunswick, Princess of Wales (1768–1821). Valentine Green’s print was made after Joshua Reynolds’ painting which is currently held in the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco.
  • About the artist
    Valentine Green, engraver of portraits and historical subjects after works by his contemporaries, was born at Salford, Worcestershire. He was intended for a career at the Bar, but without his father’s consent, became apprenticed to an obscure line engraver in Worcester. When he came to London in 1765 he began working in mezzotint and engraved nearly 400 plates over the next 40 years. In 1775 he was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy and was appointed Mezzotint Engraver to George III. In 1789 he obtained the exclusive privilege of engraving the pictures of the Dusseldorf, but was ruined when the city was besieged in 1798. In 1805 he was made Keeper of the newly founded British Institution, a post he retained until his death.
    Joshua Reynolds was the dominant artistic personality during the age of George III. He was born in Plympton, Devon. From 1750 to 1752 he studied the work of the Old Masters in Rome. Reynolds returned via Florence and Paris, and settled in London in 1753. In 1759 he painted a portrait of the future king, George, Prince of Wales (Royal Collection). After George’s accession the following year, Reynolds was dismayed to learn that Allan Ramsay had been made Principal Painter to the King. This marked the beginning of increasing hostility between Reynolds and the King. Nonetheless, by 1760 Reynolds had established himself as the leading portraitist. He became President of the Royal Academy in 1768 and was knighted the following year.
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    Townshend, née Montgomery), Anne, Marchioness Townshend
    Materials & Techniques
  • Details
    Anne Townshend, (née Montgomery), Marchioness Townshend (1754-1819)
    published 1 December 1780
    Purchased from Colnaghi, March 1973
    GAC number