Lot 67
  • 67

George Romney

150,000 - 200,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • George Romney
  • Portrait of Mrs. Henry Ainslie with her child
  • oil on canvas


Lady Adele Meyer;
Her sale, London, Christie's 30 May 1930, lot 164, to Amodio, for 180 gns; 
Comte Aimery de La Rouchefoucauld, Monaco;
Thence by descent to John, Marquis de Amodio;
His posthumous sale, Paris, Drouot, 7 April 2004, lot 20 (as English School, 19th Century);
There purchased by the present owner. 


The following condition report has been provided by Simon Parkes of Simon Parkes Art Conservation, Inc. 502 East 74th St. New York, NY 212-734-3920, simonparkes@msn.com, an independent restorer who is not an employee of Sotheby's. This charming portrait has been recently cleaned and should be hung in its current condition. The texture of the paint reflects the fairly heavy textured canvas which is typical for this artist, but this is certainly attractive. A few cracks have developed in the faces of both the mother and the child, but there are no retouches here. There may be a few tiny retouches in the back of the mother's right hand, as well as in the dark colors in the lower left corner and in the dark colors in the sky in the right and left. However, the condition is impressive and the work should be hung as is.
"This lot is offered for sale subject to Sotheby's Conditions of Business, which are available on request and printed in Sotheby's sale catalogues. The independent reports contained in this document are provided for prospective bidders' information only and without warranty by Sotheby's or the Seller."

Catalogue Note

The present portrait of Mrs. Henry Ainslie with her child is a hitherto unrecorded version of Romney’s original work of this young woman and child from 1787. That picture left the Ainslie collection in the 1890’s, ultimatley arriving in the heralded collection of Alfred Beit by 1900.1  It is unclear how the present work came to be made by Romney, as no documentation of a commission for a second version is recorded; however there is reason to believe that Romney may have executed the picture as a favor to the family. The Ainslie’s were favored clients and good friends of the artist, and Romney executed a portrait of Mr. Henry Ainslie at the same time as the Beit portrait of Mrs. Ainslie and her child.2  As such, it is possible that the family may have requested the artist to execute a second pair of paintings for them without such works entering into Romney’s own documentation.

Henry Ainslie, a physician, married Agnes Ford in 1785 of Monk Coniston in the church at Colton. She was was the daughter of Richard Ford, founder of the Newland Company, which would later be called Harrison Ainslie. The Ainslie's owned a large area of land called Ford Lodge at Grizedale, where they planted thousands of larch trees. This large area would form the basis of Grizedale Forest. Their son, pictured here, was named Montague. 

We are grateful to Alex Kidson for his assistance in the cataloguing of this lot. Mr. Kidson has examined the picture first hand, and will include it in his forthcoming monograph on the works of Romney. 


1. H. Ward and W. Roberts, Romney, London 1904, vol. II, p. 3, reproduced.
2. Ibid.