James Wyatt (1774-1853) was an Oxford collector, art dealer, print publisher, curator of the Duke of Marlborough's collection at Blenheim, and Mayor of Oxford from 1842 to 1843. Millais evidently knew Wyatt by 1846 when he painted a watercolour of his grand-daughter Mary (private collection). Three years later Wyatt bought Millais's painting Cymon and Iphigenia (collection Viscount Leverhulme) and commissioned a portrait of himself with Mary which was shown at the Royal Academy in 1850 (1849, private collection). This painting, intended as a pendant to the 1849 work, depicts Wyatt's daughter-in-law Eliza Wyatt, née Moorman (1813-95) with her daughter Sarah, later Mrs Thomas (1849-1916).
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