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Frances Woodley, Mrs Henry Bankes the younger (1760-1823)

George Romney (Dalton-in-Furness 1734 – Kendal 1802)

Category

Art / Oil paintings

Date

1780 - 1781

Materials

Oil on canvas

Measurements

2350 x 1448 mm (92 1/2 x 57 in)

Place of origin

England

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Collection

Kingston Lacy Estate, Dorset (Accredited Museum)

On show at

Kingston Lacy Estate, Dorset, South West, National Trust

NT 1257070

Caption

This is a full-length portrait of the eldest daughter of William Woodley (1728- 1793) and Frances Payne (1738 - 1813). She is standing elegantly in a landscape setting leaning against a pedestal covered with a crimson cloth wearing white, edged with gold. It was painted, during the winter of 1780/81 according the artist’s sittings’ records, before Frances Woodley, 'one of the most remarkable beauties of the day', married Henry Bankes the younger (1757 - 1834) in 1784. The Gentlemen's Magazine reported: “This lady in 1781 shone at Bath in the first circles of fashion; she drew all eyes and warmed all hearts.” She mothered six children, one of whom was William John Bankes (1786 - 1855), on whom she doted and who rebulit Kingston Lacy between 1835-41. William wrote from Cairo in 1815: “Tell my mother that I never ceased to think of her among the figs and the mulberries of Mount Sinai.”

Summary

Oil painting on canvas, Frances Woodley, Mrs Henry Bankes the younger (1760-1823) by George Romney (Dalton-in-Furness 1734 – Kendal 1802), 1780-81. A full-length portrait of the eldest daughter of William Woodley (1728- 1793) and Frances Payne (1738 - 1813) See NT 1257063, three-quarter profile to right, leaning against a pedestal, left, covered with a crimson cloth, upon which her right arm rests; wearing a white dress edged with gold, open in front; short sleeves; landscape background, cloudy sky. Frances Woodley, 'one of the most remarkable beauties of the day', married Henry Bankes the younger (1757 - 1834) in 1784. Frances was the mother of six children, one of whom was William John Bankes (1786 - 1855), on whom she doted and who rebulit Kingston Lacy betweeen 1835-41. The portrait was painted in the winter of 1780/81, several years before the sitter's marriage. Romney's studio diary documents four sittings on 9, 11 and 22 December and 31 January.

Provenance

By descent until bequeathed by (Henry John) Ralph Bankes (1902 – 1981) to the National Trust, together with the estates of Corfe Castle and Kingston Lacy and its entire contents in 1981.

Marks and inscriptions

(painted in black on fixed gilt label, centred under image) Verso: The canvas has printed on the reverse a crown and cipher without numbers and therefore not recognisable as a customs stamp - and the number 3.

Makers and roles

George Romney (Dalton-in-Furness 1734 – Kendal 1802), artist

References

Kidson, 2015: Alex Kidson, George Romney: A Complete Catalogue of his Paintings, Yale, 2015

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