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Fitzgerald-de-Ros, Cecilia, 1811–1869

Cecilia Fitzgerald-de-Ros sketchbook.

Thames Ditton, England, 1820s.
Physical Description:
1 volume (39 drawings) ; 13 x 17 cm
Rare Books and Manuscripts
DA690.T385 F5 1820
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
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Copyright Status:
Copyright Not Evaluated
Drawings & Watercolors
Attribution to Cecilia Fitzgerald-de-Ros (1811-1869) is supported by the the drawing on leaf 7 ("Amusemens de Societé"), which is signed "Cecilia 1824." Cecilia was the daughter of Irish MP Lord Henry Fitzgerald (1761-1829) and Charlotte Fitzgerald-de-Ros, 20th Baroness de Ros (1769-1831). Cecilia was raised in her mother's familial home of Boyle House, Thames Ditton, England. In 1835 she married John Boyle (1803-1874), with whom she had four children. The bookplate of Cecilia's daughter, Georgiana Olivia Quin (1843-1931) appears at front.
Bound in contemporary black straight-grain morocco, with metal clasp, marbled endpapers. The wove paper is watermarked J. Whatman, 1821.
The sketchbook comprises 39 drawings, 27 in graphite (14 of which are partial or incomplete), 7 in graphite and black ink, and 15 in watercolor over graphite and black ink, including one across facing pages. Cecilia's drawings depict varied scenes from her life, including high society parties and farming activities on the estate. In a series of seven drawings entitled "A Young Lady's Day in the Country," she depicts common activities at various hours: at 6, brushing her hair; from 7 to 8, watering the garden; breakfast until 8.30; studies from 9 until 10; a horse ride from 10 until 12; visiting a friend and child from 12 until 1; and reading to the sick from 1 until 2. The only location noted is Thames Ditton House, now demolished, which stood opposite Boyle House, and was also owned by a succession of Franco-Irish aristocracy. Two of the drawings are dated: a visit to Thames Ditton, 1829; a society dance, 1826.
Many of the captions are in French, demonstrating the artist's education as an accomplished young society woman. The three sketches of ships suggest the use of books designed to teach fine art. Some of the unfinished graphite drawings appear to depict figures in theatrical costume, perhaps copied from tinsel prints.
Subject Terms:
Clothing and dress -- Great Britain -- 19th century.
Domestic space -- Great Britain -- 19th century.
Fashion -- Great Britain -- 19th century.
Fitzgerald family.
Fitzgerald-de-Ros, Cecilia, 1769-1831.
Fitzgerald-de-Ros, Cecilia, 1811-1869.
Fitzgerald-de-Ros, Henry, 1761-1829.
Great Britain -- Social life and customs -- 19th century.
Interior decoration -- Great Britain -- 19th century.
Quin, Georgiana Olivia, 1843-1931.
Thames Ditton (England)
Theater -- Great Britain -- 19th century.
Children's art.
Graphite drawings.
Ink drawings.

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