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Fagan was an Irishman who worked in Rome, where he married Anna Maria Ferri in 1790. She was seventeen, and was to live only another ten years. This, one of Fagan's earliest recorded works, may have been painted to celebrate the marriage: it presents the young Italian girl as a stylish but rather mysterious siren, having some of the modish allure of Fuseli's fascinating ladies of about the same date - see his drawing 'The Debutante' displayed here.

August 2004