Show me:
and
Clear all filters

  • 35 items
  • 25 items Explore
  • 48 items
  • 89 items
  • 3,452 items Explore
  • 97 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 41 items
  • 11,371 items Explore
  • 209 items Explore
  • 1,235 items Explore
  • 8,497 items Explore
  • 5,045 items Explore
  • 72 items Explore
  • 167 items Explore
  • 10,660 items Explore
  • 13,625 items Explore
  • 4,639 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 5 items
  • 153 items Explore
  • 2,084 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 4,754 items Explore
  • 24 items Explore
  • 437 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 19,209 items Explore
  • 34 items Explore
  • 1,028 items Explore
  • 1,113 items Explore
  • 6 items
  • 2,391 items Explore
  • 449 items Explore
  • 29 items
  • 920 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 1 items Explore
  • 5 items
  • 7 items
  • 19,819 items Explore
  • 800 items Explore
  • 19 items
  • 73 items Explore
  • 33 items
  • 800 items
  • 25 items
  • 61 items
  • 28 items
  • 319 items Explore
  • 6 items
  • 44 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 2 items
  • 146 items
  • 2 items
  • 7 items
  • 119 items Explore
  • 119 items
  • 1 items
  • 1,021 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 803 items
  • 95 items
  • 27 items
  • 108 items
  • 29,457 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 3,850 items Explore
  • 1,521 items Explore
  • 403 items
  • 158 items Explore
  • 9,980 items Explore
  • 9,670 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 1 items
  • 39 items
  • 3 items
  • 4 items
  • 6,109 items Explore
  • 7,461 items Explore
  • 4,463 items Explore
  • 1,616 items Explore
  • 929 items Explore
  • 3,493 items Explore
  • 5 items
  • 334 items
  • 1 items
  • 1 items
  • 3,429 items Explore
  • 20 items Explore
  • 354 items Explore
  • 797 items Explore
  • 1,095 items Explore
  • 503 items Explore
  • 1,047 items Explore
  • 1,123 items
  • 89 items
  • 124 items Explore
  • 6,952 items Explore
  • 170 items
  • 310 items
  • 4 items
  • 20 items
  • 61 items
  • 304 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 2,921 items Explore
  • 1,575 items Explore
  • 203 items
  • 43 items
  • 19,421 items Explore
  • 1,244 items Explore
  • 138 items
  • 843 items Explore
  • 32 items
  • 1 items
  • 132 items Explore
  • 24 items
  • 40 items
  • 20 items
  • 252 items
  • 314 items
  • 743 items Explore
  • 1,893 items
  • 349 items Explore
  • 2,425 items
  • 2,525 items
  • 3 items
  • 3 items
  • 4,390 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 37,909 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 3,289 items Explore
  • 275 items Explore
  • 8,067 items Explore
  • 31 items
  • 25 items
  • 770 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 65 items
  • 161 items
  • 52 items
  • 21,766 items Explore
  • 917 items
  • 18 items
  • 22,407 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 2,337 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 1,030 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 59 items
  • 499 items
  • 3,289 items Explore
  • 175 items
  • 453 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 21 items
  • 90 items Explore
  • 76 items
  • 281 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 6 items
  • 128 items
  • 294 items
  • 734 items
  • 868 items
  • 1 items
  • 895 items Explore
  • 272 items Explore
  • 11,300 items Explore
  • 760 items Explore
  • 6,050 items Explore
  • 11 items
  • 7,589 items Explore
  • 27 items
  • 5,358 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 3,731 items Explore
  • 9,199 items Explore
  • 7,747 items Explore
  • 200 items
  • 19 items
  • 142 items
  • 7 items
  • 869 items Explore
  • 19 items
  • 4,151 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 1,096 items Explore
  • 223 items
  • 1 items
  • 3,553 items Explore
  • 20 items
  • 696 items Explore
  • 18 items
  • 134 items
  • 6,729 items Explore
  • 15,815 items Explore
  • 3,130 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 8 items
  • 9,323 items Explore
  • 37 items
  • 2 items
  • 21,319 items Explore
  • 129 items
  • 38 items
  • 13,167 items Explore
  • 3,398 items Explore
  • 2,137 items Explore
  • 44 items
  • 42,312 items Explore
  • 635 items Explore
  • 415 items
  • 1 items
  • 24,571 items Explore
  • 218 items
  • 3 items
  • 1 items
  • 20 items
  • 27 items
  • 325 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 217 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 2 items
  • 13,212 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 10,261 items
  • 9 items
  • 10 items
  • 14 items
  • 25 items
  • 1 items
  • 4,529 items Explore
  • 918 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 464 items
  • 1 items
  • 1 items
  • 220 items
  • 702 items Explore
  • 42 items
  • 2,284 items Explore
  • 1,662 items Explore
  • 15 items
  • 1,928 items Explore
  • 151 items
  • 84 items
  • 773 items Explore
  • 3,137 items Explore
  • 43 items
  • 17 items
  • 12 items
  • 10,682 items Explore
  • 23,102 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 18 items
  • 1 items
  • 1,373 items
  • 180 items Explore
  • 8 items
  • 92 items
  • 13,332 items Explore
  • 3,574 items Explore
  • 2,667 items Explore
  • 4,776 items Explore
  • 22 items
  • 45 items
  • 6,899 items Explore
  • 4,772 items Explore
  • 272 items Explore
  • 2,300 items Explore
  • 2,980 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 1,865 items Explore
  • 291 items
  • 223 items Explore
  • 470 items Explore
  • 6,120 items Explore
  • 8,810 items Explore
  • 1,859 items Explore
  • 5,793 items Explore
  • 3,339 items Explore
  • 11,064 items Explore
  • 86 items
  • 11 items
  • 1,675 items Explore
  • 7 items
  • 24 items
  • 51 items
  • 5 items
  • 1 items
  • 2,968 items Explore
  • 618 items Explore
  • 62 items
  • 17 items
  • 151 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 87 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 463 items
  • 2 items
  • 996 items Explore
  • 3,612 items Explore
  • 5 items
  • 9,405 items Explore
  • 48 items Explore
  • 3 items
  • 42 items
  • 3 items
  • 13,714 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 1,169 items Explore
  • 92 items
  • 10,562 items Explore
  • 1,002 items Explore
  • 1,920 items
  • 7,563 items Explore
  • 21 items
  • 12,945 items Explore
  • 1,418 items Explore
  • 6 items
  • 9,576 items Explore
  • 16,401 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 1,669 items Explore
  • 180 items
  • 58 items
  • 5,684 items Explore
  • 9,395 items Explore
  • 48 items
  • 25 items
  • 2 items
  • 59 items
  • 3 items
  • 7,394 items Explore
  • 402 items Explore
  • 13 items
  • 4 items
  • 6 items
  • 4 items
  • 103 items Explore
  • 7 items
  • 5 items
  • 480 items
  • 297 items Explore
  • 8,369 items Explore
  • 55 items
  • 22,506 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 7,350 items Explore
  • 5 items
  • 26 items
  • 3,832 items Explore
  • 463 items
  • 339 items Explore
  • 12,692 items Explore
  • 55 items
  • 20 items
  • 7 items
  • 4 items
  • 315 items Explore
  • 434 items
  • 183 items
  • 3,688 items Explore
  • 27 items
  • 1,228 items Explore
  • 2,493 items Explore
  • 732 items Explore
  • 36 items
  • 1,135 items Explore
  • 97 items Explore
  • 41 items
  • 217 items Explore
  • 74,343 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 3,065 items Explore
  • 2,847 items Explore
  • 236 items
  • 3,617 items Explore
  • 1,832 items Explore
  • 4 items
  • 17,341 items Explore
  • 5,508 items Explore
  • 7 items
  • 632 items Explore
  • 85 items
  • 430 items
  • 39 items
  • 76 items
  • 29 items
  • 177 items
  • 3 items
  • 41 items
  • 1,176 items Explore
  • 109 items
  • 805 items
  • 17 items
  • 11,194 items Explore
  • 27 items
  • 13 items
  • 1,548 items Explore
  • 1 items
  • 214 items
  • 17,020 items Explore
  • 85 items
  • 17 items
  • 1 items
  • 9 items
  • 8 items
  • 324 items
  • 2 items
  • 626 items Explore
  • 1,587 items Explore
  • 8 items
  • 1,034 items Explore
  • 2 items
  • 261 items

Select a time period

Or choose a specific year

Clear all filters

Catherine ‘Kitty’ Fisher, later Mrs Norris (d.1767)

Sir Joshua Reynolds PRA (Plympton 1723 - London 1792)

Category

Art / Oil paintings

Date

1759 (inscribed on letter)

Materials

Oil on canvas

Measurements

1090 x 960 x 140 mm

Place of origin

London

Order this image

Collection

Petworth House and Park, West Sussex

NT 486167

Caption

Kitty Fisher was a friend of Reynolds’s, and had a reputation as a courtesan, but on the 9th of November 1766 she married John Norris, MP, of Hempsted Manor, Benenden, Kent, who was MP for Rye 1762–1774. She died at Bath four months later, at the age of about twenty-six, ‘a victim to cosmetics’ (or small pox), and was buried “in her best dress” on 23 Mar 1767. By 1760 a pamphlet addressed to her by ‘Simon Trusty’ claimed that ‘Your Lovers are the Great Ones of the Earth, and your Admirers are the Mighty; they never approach you but, like Jove, in a shower of Gold.’ Her voracity was notorious and when Casanova met her in London in 1764, covered in diamonds and waiting to go to a ball, he was told that she had once clapped a £20 note into a bread-and-butter sandwich and consumed it.

Summary

Oil painting on canvas, Catherine ‘Kitty’ Fisher, later Mrs Norris (d.1767) by Sir Joshua Reynolds (Plympton 1723 - London 1792), the letter resting on the table is inscribed: 1759 June 2. My dearest Kit. A half-length portrait of a young woman, full face, her head tilted a little to the left, her arms along a red covered ledge, on which a letter lies. She is wearing a deep brown-black bodice, gold embroidered, green ribbons at bosom and lace frills, with a four row pearl necklace and a green enamel tiara set with pearls. Kitty Fisher (c.1741–1767) was reputed to have been the daughter of a German staymaker. She was a friend of Reynolds’s, and had a reputation as a courtesan, but on the 9th of November 1766 she married John Norris, MP, of Hempsted Manor, Benenden, Kent, who was MP for Rye 1762–1774. She died at Bath four months later, at the age of about twenty-six, ‘a victim to cosmetics’ (or small pox), and was buried “in her best dress” on 23 Mar 1767 in the Norris family vault at Benenden, Kent, where there is, however, no memorial either to her or to her husband.

Provenance

Kitty Fisher sat for Reynolds on a number of occasions from 1759-1767, the present portrait probably being the earliest that he painted of her. It was acquired by the 3rd Earl of Egremont (1751-1837) before 1835 and thence by descent, until the death in 1952 of the 3rd Lord Leconfield, who had given Petworth to the National Trust in 1947, and whose nephew and heir, John Wyndham, 6th Lord Leconfield and 1st Lord Egremont (1920-72) arranged for the acceptance of the major portion of the collections at Petworth in lieu of death duties (the first ever such arrangement) in 1956 by HMTreasury.

Credit line

Petworth House, The Egremont Collection (acquired in lieu of tax by HM Treasury in 1956 and subsequently transferred to the National Trust)

Marks and inscriptions

Recto: 1759 June 2. My Dearest Kit (inscribed on the letter but there is disagreement as to whether the date is 1759, 1760 or 1782) Verso: In white chalk on stretcher: 90; in blue ink on small circular label: HAB [=Horace Buttery] / E / 13. Labels of various exhibitions [too difficult to read, when hung].

Makers and roles

Sir Joshua Reynolds PRA (Plympton 1723 - London 1792), artist

Exhibition history

Sir Joshua Reynolds - Experiments in Paint, The Wallace Collection, London, 2015, no.13

References

Reynolds, Grand Palais, Paris 9 October-16 December 1985, Royal Academy, London, 16 January - 31 March, 1986, p.193, no.31 Reynolds, Grand Palais, Paris 9 October-16 December 1985, Royal Academy, London, 16 January - 31 March, 1986, p. 193 Reynolds, Grand Palais, Paris 9 October-16 December 1985, Royal Academy, London, 16 January - 31 March, 1986, p.193 Mannings 2000: David Mannings, Sir Joshua Reynolds: A Complete Catalogue of his Paintings. The Subject Pictures catalogued by Martin Postle, New Haven & London 2000, no.611, p.188 & pl.417 Joshua Reynolds Experiments in Paint (ed. Lucy Davis and Mark Hallett), The Wallace Collection, London, 12 March - 7 June 2015, pp164-165, cat.13

View more details