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Creator:
Tilly Kettle, 1735–1786, British, active in India (1769–76)
Formerly attributed to Francis Cotes RA, 1726–1770, British
Title:

Eleanora Frances Murray

Date:
in or before 1768
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
Support (PTG): 50 x 39 15/16 inches (127 x 101.4 cm)
Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
B1976.7.18
Classification:
Paintings
Collection:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
armchair | chair | costume | flowers (plants) | guitar | interior | leisure | light | music | pillow | portrait | woman
Associated People:
Grant, Eleanor Francis
Access:
On view in the galleries
Link:
https://collections.britishart.yale.edu/catalog/tms:259
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Completed prior to the artist’s departure for India in 1768, this portrait depicts Eleanora Frances Murray shortly before her marriage to fellow Scot, Alexander Grant of Arndilly, the owner of the Albion, Eden, and Papine plantations in Jamaica. The production of sugar on these plantations, from which Grant derived his wealth, relied on the labor of enslaved Africans. Murray’s beauty was celebrated in her day in the pipe song “Bonnie Nellie Murray.” Here, her opulent silk robe and headdress reflect the fashion among wealthy women in eighteenth-century Britain for Ottoman-inspired clothing, or turquerie, with the cittern, a guitar-like instrument behind her, adding to the effect. This combination of appropriated and imagined elements was intended to convey a sense of culture and luxury tied to stereotypes of “the East.”

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2022

Malcolm Cormack, Concise Catalogue of Paintings in the Yale Center for British Art, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 1985, pp. 132-133, N590.2 A83 (YCBA) [YCBA]


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