An unknown young woman

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This rather fuzzy photo doesn’t do this painting justice… You can find a perfect representation of it if you look; I believe it might be by Sir Joshua Reynolds, painted in about 1755, but she is ‘an unknown young woman’. The painting is quite dull in colour, it looks faded, but maybe that was the angle I was looking at it from; the rooms at Montecute House where she hangs are kept shaded to protect everything from the damaging rays of sunlight, even through glass.

I like this young woman, I like her quirky face, and knowing smile, a confident person, and a happy person. Is she posed in a traditional way for this sort of painting, or has she posed herself? Is she holding something to her, or is it just her wrap? She looks lovely to me, but was she considered pretty or beautiful in 1755? I wonder what her name was? I wonder if she had a happy life? Did she marry? Have children? Did she paint herself, or sketch, or write maybe? Who knows!

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