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Lady Georgiana was a daughter of John Fane, 10th earl of Westmorland, holder of many government offices, including that of Lord Privy Seal for thirty years. She was the first child of his second marriage in 1800 to the heiress Jane Saunders. This portrait was painted in 1806, while the artist was working on two conventionally grand and sober portraits of her father. It shows the peer's daughter as a peasant child with a tub of laundry beside a stream, accompanied by a pet kid. This playful conceit may have been devised by her famously witty, not to say eccentric, mother. Georgiana never married and bequeathed the picture to the national collection on her death in 1874.

August 2004