Lady Spencer is proud of her handsome husband. Gainsborough paints their portraits and those of their children. They often travel to Italy for health reasons. They meet Angelica Kauffmann in Rome.
Angelica had been a child prodigy. She is adored by the English community of Rome for her skill as a portraitist and for her charm. In 1766 she accompanies to London the wife of the British ambassador who introduces her to the highest level of the English aristocracy. A friend of Reynolds, she was in 1768 a founding member of the Royal Academy.
On January 30 in New York, Sotheby's sells the portrait of the three Spencer children by Angelica Kauffmann, lot 52 estimated $ 600K.
This oil on canvas 114 x 145 cm is not dated. The age of the children is as in 1767 or 1768 but it is possible that this painting is a later reinterpretation. Their resemblance is blatant with their triple portrait as young adults by the same artist in 1774.
Georgiana is the eldest, aware of that role. George, the boy, holds a branch of which he made a bow. The young Henrietta, whose health was fragile in her childhood, is sad or shy. George Spencer is the patrilineal ancestor of Lady Diana Spencer, Princess of Wales.
SOLD for $ 920K including premium