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This work is typical of the small-scale single figure or 'conversation piece' groups in which Devis specialised all his life. His neat and genteel style appealed greatly to the newly enriched middle classes and country gentry, whom he painted in elegant interiors or outdoors in their parks. The identity of this particular lady is not known but she is seated, presumably in the grounds of her family estate, engaged in the refined pursuit of music-making; her guitar lies to one side, while she consults a sheet of music. This combination of landscape and portraiture influenced the young Gainsborough whose own development of the style can be seen nearby.

September 2004