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Katharine Read, 1723–1778
Thomas, Second Baron Bruce, Later First Earl of Ailesbury (1729-1814)
Additional Title(s):
Thomas, 2nd Baron Bruce, Later 1st Earl of Ailesbury (1729-1814)
ca. 1751
Materials & Techniques:
Pastel on laid paper
Sheet: 18 3/8 × 14 1/2 inches (46.7 × 36.8 cm), Frame: 24 3/4 × 21 × 2 1/4 inches (62.9 × 53.3 × 5.7 cm)

Inscribed on frame label in black ink, lower center: "Thomas 1st Earl of Ailesbury | 1730. 1814 | married Feb[y] 17 = 1761 to Susanna | daughter of Henry Hoare Esq | of Stourhead = Wilts

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Drawings & Watercolors
Prints and Drawings
Subject Terms:
costume | man | portrait
Associated People:
Brudenell-Bruce, Thomas (1729–1814), 1st Earl of Ailesbury
Accessible by appointment in the Study Room [Request]
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IIIF Manifest:

Katharine Read was one of the most successful pastelists working in eighteenth-century Britain and one of the few professional female artists. Such was her success that she included French and British royalty among her clientele. Read had trained with the French pastelist Maurice Quentin de la Tour in Paris in her early twenties and then moved on to Rome, where she worked successfully making portraits of both Italian and British sitters. This early pastel was made in around 1751, shortly after she arrived in Rome and when Lord Bruce was on the Grand Tour. Read returned to Britain in 1753, where she earned a considerable reputation for her portraits. In 1778 she traveled to India, planning to establish herself in Madras after her niece had married the governor in 1777. She died en route and was buried at sea.

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]

British paintings & works on paper, Lowell Libson Ltd., London, 2013, pp. 66, 6879, DealerCat Lowell Libson Ltd. (YCBA) [YCBA]

Margery Morgan, British Connoisseurs in Rome : Was it painted by Katherine Read?, British Art Journal, vol. 7, no. 1, Spring/Summer 2006, pp. 41,42, 44, pl. 4, N6761 B74 + (YCBA) [YCBA]

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