George Romney, ‘Portrait of Lord Melville’, 18th century, Davis Museum

Davis Museum at Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA, Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Arthur K. Solomon

About George Romney

George Romney was a leading British portrait painter who became popular for his ability to create flattering images of his subjects regardless of personality. He began his career as a pupil of the portrait and genre painter Christopher Steele, and then toured northern England painting portraits. Romney greatly admired the work of Nicolas Le Sueur, whose use of antique motifs appealed to him, and late in his career studied the works of Raphael, Titian, and Correggio. Romney had a talent for painting complex portraits with multiple figures, which would often require over a dozen sessions with his sitters. His favorite subjects were children and women, who were typically depicted in white gowns and without jewelry. Interestingly, he was considered to be less adept at painting men.

British, December 26, 1734 - November 15, 1802, Dalton-in-Furness, United Kingdom