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John Russell, 1745–1806

Portrait of Anne and Maria Russell

Pastel and colored chalk on moderately textured, cream wove paper
Sheet: 40 x 30 inches (101.6 x 76.2 cm), Frame: 50 1/2 x 42 1/2 x 3 inches (128.3 x 108 x 7.6 cm)

Signed and dated in red chalk, upper left: "J Russell R A | 1804"

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Drawings & Watercolors
Prints and Drawings
Subject Terms:
portrait | women
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IIIF Manifest:

John Russell was a successful and prolific eighteenth-century portraitist best known for his work in pastels. Apprenticed to the portrait painter Francis Cotes, Russell set up his own practice in 1767 and was appointed Crayon Painter to George III and to George, Prince of Wales, in 1788. This double portrait of Russell’s daughters Maria (1782–1861) and Ann (1781–1857) is a superb example of his virtuoso pastel technique. Made in 1804, two years before his death, the portrait was exhibited at the Royal Academy but was essentially a private work, which remained with his descendants until 2001. A devout Methodist, Russell had a large and close family; he often depicted his wife and children, and this touching image of sisterly affection exemplifies the eighteenth-century notion of sensibility. Ann Russell, shown on the right holding a porte-crayon, became a successful artist who exhibited at the Royal Academy.

Gallery label for A Decade of Gifts and Acquisitions (Yale Center for British Art, 2017-06-01 - 2017-08-13)

A Decade of Gifts and Acquisitions (Yale Center for British Art, 2017-06-01 - 2017-08-13) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition] [Exhibition Description]

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