Margaret Woffington, called
Watercolour on ivory; oval
"137 / PART III / … H" (on book in lap)
Presented by the 15th Lord Saye and Sele, before 1844
RW 427S (Peg Woffington studying Ophelia by R. Cosway)
Fitzgerald p. 183
The romantic sitter contemplates her reading matter and conjures up the vision seen on the right, an architectural fantasy that includes a pedimented building, two towers, and an obelisk. A half-full hour-glass rests on a wooden bracket, and a robin sings from the branch of the tree top right. The sitter wears a grey long-sleeved dress and has a blue drapery over her head and under her left elbow, and another round her shoulders.
[J. F. Kerslake writes in “Early Georgian Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery”: "A number of portraits of unknown ladies, whose features somewhat resemble her, and an even larger number whose features bear almost no resemblance, have been called Woffington, and the subject should be approached with caution."]