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The second picture shows the reconciliation of the two quarrelling lovers, Damon and Phillida, to the disappointment of the heroine’s two awkward suitors, Mopsus and Cimon. It probably represents Kitty Clive as Phillida, and Charlotte Clarke as Damon in 1739. Damon was often a ‘breeches part’, that is, one played by a woman. The theatre was always a strong focal point for London’s artistic community and scenes from plays or actors in character became an increasingly important genre for painters.

August 2004