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unknown artist eighteenth century
Formerly attributed to Jonathan Richardson the Elder, 1667–1745

A Woman, Previously Thought to Be Anne, Lady Cavendish

Former Title(s):

Lady Anne Cavendish (daughter of Elihu Yale ?)

ca. 1725
Materials & Techniques:
Oil on canvas
46 x 52 inches (116.8 x 132.1 cm)
Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Gift of Bruce McCashin
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
column (architectural element) | earrings | jewels | portrait | robe | woman
Not on view
IIIF Manifest:

This painting was acquired because it was believed to depict Anne Yale, daughter of Elihu Yale, and, from 1708, wife of James, Lord Cavendish, a son of the Duke of Devonshire. At the time, the large group portrait that includes Elihu Yale and his son-in-law Cavendish was thought to commemorate the agreement for Anne's marriage settlement.
However, the woman depicted here wears an ermine-lined robe, which in the early eighteenth century was worn only by peers, that is, members of the aristocracy. Anne was not a member of the peerage so this cannot be her portrait. Like several objects associated with Elihu Yale now in the university's collections, this portrait once hung at Glemham Hall, Suffolk, the home of Yale's other son-in-law, Dudley North. Research has revealed that the likeness is identical to another member of the North family, though questions remain about the sitter's true identity.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2021

Elihu Yale, Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin, Bulletin 2012, Yale University Art Gallery, 2012, p. 59, fig. 6, ND1314.3 .E55 2012 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Diana Scarisbrick, Elihu Yale : merchant, collector & patron, Thames & Hudson, 2014, pp. 53, 54, fig. 17, DA497.Y3 S37 2014 (YCBA) [YCBA]

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