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Georgian Women Portraits In New Online Exhibition

Published on: 25 Jul, 2021
Updated on: 25 Jul, 2021

Portraits by renowned Guildford-born artist John Russell RA can now be viewed in a new online exhibition.

Guildford Borough Council that owns the portraits says the exhibition features the portraits Russell painted of women and girls. It sets his sitters against the backdrop of being an 18th-century female. Specifically, in their roles as wives, mothers, daughters, and as objects of curiosity, admiration or desire.

John Russell’s portrait of Rebekah Jane Gines, also Mrs Langston. Circa. 1790.

Pastel artist and painter to King George III, Russell was one of the leading portrait painters of his time, and Guildford Borough Heritage Service houses the largest collection of his portraits in the UK.

Of the 35 portraits in its collection, 19 depict women and girls.

Recent research on Russell’s work is an outcome of a fellowship funded by the Understanding British Portraits group, undertaken by Guildford Heritage Services’ curatorial assistant Gemma Haigh.

It has been suggested that the young lady in this portrait is one of the artist’s daughters, Ann or Maria, who were teenagers at around the time this picture was probably created.

An exhibition will open at Guildford House Gallery in the High Street next year as the gallery is at present closed while maintenance work is carried out.

It is also understood that Guildford’s tourist information centre, currently at Guildford House, will be moved to Guildford Museum in Quarry Street.

Many other artist’s work in the borough collection are also available to view online, from Helen Allingham to Anne Yates. Click here.

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