Description Stories of women, jewels, and pearls, popular when this painting was first exhibited in 1826 in London, help to explain this enigmatic portrait. Pearls were especially associated with purity; in classical myth, they were believed to be the droplets of water that Venus, the goddess of love, shook from herself when she was born out of the sea. Thinking of ancient Rome, a viewer might have recalled the story of Cornelia, who when asked to show off her jewels, virtuously pointed to her children. Shee, a fashionable portrait painter, chose his subjects from the worlds of the theatre and high society. Although the sitter is identified only as Miss Moffat, this portrait was exhibited at the Royal Academy (no. 72) in London in 1826. Four years later, Shee was elected president of the Academy.
|12/31/1969||Examination||examined for condition|
|4/27/2005||Treatment||surface cleaned; varnish removed; loss compensation; inpainted; coated|
- Bedazzled: 5,000 Years of Jewelry from the Walters Art Museum. Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville; The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota; The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2006-2009.
Provenance Sale, Christie's, London, June 10 1899; purchased by Henry Walters, Baltimore, before 1901; by bequest to Walters Art Museum, 1931.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, before 1901
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