This exceptionally well executed portrait is notably indebted to two particular artists. In certain aspects of style, particularly in the rendering of the face, the work of William Hoare, one of England’s greatest pastellists comes to mind; compositionally, the body with the blue fluttering mantle is definitely influenced by the great Italian pastellist Rosalba Carriera, who inspired many English artists particularly those who had ventured to Rome, as Hoare had done.
Carriera’s work was popular with the English grand tourists and significant commissions were undertaken by her of the likes of Horace Walpole and the Duke of Newcastle. Hoare was also inspired by Carriera’s subject of the Four Seasons – ladies depicted as allegories – and turned to an ever more neo-classical approach when depicting them.
In the portrait presented here the head, particularly the hairstyle with fillet and chignon, shows this influence of the neo-classical, a style in vogue in the latter part of the eighteenth century and favoured by the likes of Angelica Kauffmann. These observations together with aspects of presentation, suggest that the portrait was finished sometime after 1780.