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Antique colored Mezzotint engraving portrait of Mrs. Richard Brinsley Sheridan by Thomas Gainsborough, published in 1909 by W.M. Power of London. A penciled note and signature in the lower right reads “Engraved + printed in colors (word unclear) printing. (Unknown signature).” Additional printed mark, left corner: AWSP a double outlined diamond.
Elizabeth Linley's beauty and exceptional soprano voice brought her professional success in concerts and festivals in Bath and London. After marrying Sheridan in 1773 she left her career to support and participate in her husband's activities as politician, playwright, and orator. Sheridan's work was immensely popular, and his witty plays, A School for Scandal and The Rivals, are a beloved part of today's theatrical repertoire.
Mrs. Sheridan is shown here at the age of thirty-one, a mature and elegant woman. Merged into the landscape, her gracious form bends to the curve of the trees behind her. Light plays as quickly and freely across her dress as it does across the clouds and the sky. The distinct textures of rocks, foliage, silk, and hair are unified by the strong, animated rhythms of Gainsborough's brush.
The freely painted, impressionistic style of Mrs. Sheridan's costume and the windblown landscape reflect the strong romantic component in Gainsborough's artistic temperament. However, his primary focus remains on his sitter's face and on her personality. Her chin and mouth are firm, definite, and sculptural, and her heavily drawn eyebrows give her a steady, composed, and dignified expression. There is a hint of romantic melancholy in her eyes, with their slightly indirect gaze.
Good Overall - Some water stains to edges/gentle wear to print; some chipping to frame
19” x 1” x 29.75” / Sans Frame - 15” x 22.5” (Width x Depth x Height)