MET Conserve Cosway's Mrs. Dalrymple

October 6 2021

Image of MET Conserve Cosway's Mrs. Dalrymple

Picture: MET

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Conservators of The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York have recently restored Richard Cosway's portrait of Marianne Dorothy Harland (1759–1785), Later Mrs. William Dalrymple.

According to the museum's catalogue note:

When this portrait was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1779, an art critic decried Cosway’s “painful and minute attention to little Circumstances,” which gave his work “a coxcomical and ridiculous air.” Indeed, the painting does reveal Cosway’s minute attention to the furnishing of a fashionable, feminine interior, emphasizing such features as the dressing table bearing a pincushion, scent bottles, and powder puff. 

Here is what the picture looked like before conservation treatment:

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