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Elizabeth Jones, eldest daughter of the 1st Earl of Ranelagh, was one of the great beauties of the Restoration
. The orange blossom that she holds, and the cupids on the pot to the left, may refer to her readiness to marry. However, in the late 1670s, when it is thought this painting
was made, she was rumoured to be mistress to Charles II. She was not to marry the Earl of Kildare until 1684.
Citrus fruits were a rare and expensive food, the plants cultivated by only the wealthiest households.