National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Gift of the Countess of Stradbroke through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program, 2010
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of Digitisation Champion Ms Carol Grigor through Metal Manufactures Limited
19th Century European Paintings Gallery Level 2, NGV International
In 1792, John Rous married the beautiful Charlotte Whittaker. Soon after their marriage, William Beechey was commissioned to create two life-size portraits of the couple. This corresponds with Beechey’s period of greatest success when he was appointed court portraitist to Queen Charlotte. Beechey was so pleased with this portrait of Lady Rous, that he sent it to the prestigious Royal Academy exhibition for 1796. Beechey here has created a sublimely romantic painting by theatrically posing the figure in a stage-like setting and has handled the drapery in a free and lively manner. The sitter’s elbow leans against the base of a stone urn, previously obscured in the painting by discoloured varnish.
Unknown - 18th century
carved timber and gold leaf
Lady Rous née Charlotte Maria Whittaker, second wife of the 6th Baronet, later, Earl of Stradbroke came into the collection in 2010 with a Carlo Maratta style frame. The frame is believed to be the original presentation of the painting and is representative of the popularity of this style of frame in England in the second half of the eighteenth century.
The Carlo Maratta frame is based on a Roman frame that found its way back to England through the Grand Tour visitors of the eighteenth century
The frame is carved in soft wood, and has been partly re-gilded at some point in the past. The corners are mitred and cross-splined on the reverse.
The frame is one of a pair – the other on the companion portrait of The Rt Hon. John Rous.
Both portraits were cleaned and restored in 2009 – 2010.