Oil painting on mahogany panel, Amelia Egerton, Lady Hume (1751-1809), by Sir Joshua Reynolds PRA (Plympton 1723 - London 1792), probably 1785. A half-length portrait of a mature woman, seated, turned to the left, gazing at the spectator, with powdered, curled hair falling in ringlets onto her shoulders. She is wearing a green dress and black hooded mantle, with a white bodice tied with a red and white bow. A King Charles spaniel sits on her lap and a scarlet drape is visible behind.
Lady Amelia Egerton was the daughter of Right Reverend John Egerton Bishop of Durham (1721-1787) and Lady Anne Sophia Grey (d.1780) daughter of Henry de Grey, Duke of Kent. She was the sister and heiress of the unmarried General John William Egerton, 7th Earl of Bridgwater (1753-1823). She married Sir Abraham Hume, 2nd Bt. (1749-1838), son of Sir Abraham Hume, 1st Bt, in 1771. They had two children, Amelia Hume (1772-1837) who in 1793 married Charles Long, later created Baron Farnborough, who died without issue; and Sophia Hume, Lady Brownlow (1788-1814) who married John Cust, 2nd Baron Brownlow (1779-1853), created 1st Earl Brownlow and Viscount Alford in 1815; their son, John Hume (Egerton), Viscount Alford (1812-1851), inherited the vast Egerton estates which brought him an income of £70,000 a year.
Sir Abraham Hume called this painting ‘one of the very few pictures which Sir Joshua painted on Pannel, which his kindness consented to do at Sir A. Hume’s request. The colours retain their original brilliancy...’ ( Sir Abraham Hume, A Descriptive Catalogue of a Collection of Pictures, 1824, p.41, no.138). When exhibited at the Royal Academy, the Morning Herald wrote: ‘no 23, Portrait of a lady, is a good likeness of Lady Hume, but, for her fine figure, she should have sat for a full length.’ A payment of 50 guineas by ‘Sir Abraham Hume, for Lady Hume’, is recorded in his ledger on 1 December 1785. Lady Hume almost certainly sat for this picture in 1785, a year for which Reynolds’s pocket-book has not survived.
Lady Hume almost certainly sat to Sir Joshua Reynolds for this portrait in 1785, a year for which Reynolds' pocket-book has not survived; thence by descent; acquired by the National Trust in 1984.
Belton House, The Brownlow Collection (acquired with the help of the National Heritage Memorial Fund by the National Trust in 1984)
Marks and inscriptions
No inscriptions or labels recorded on the reverse
Makers and roles
Sir Joshua Reynolds PRA (Plympton 1723 - London 1792)