Valentine Green after Sir Joshua Reynolds
Mary Isabella, Duchess of Rutland
19 x 29 inches
A full-length mezzotint portrait by Green after Reynolds; published in London in 1780.
This beguiling mezzotint portrait of the great C18th beauty and socialite Mary Elizabeth Manners (1756-1831) when the Duchess of Rutland is all the more significant and important because the original painting by Reynolds was destroyed by fire at Belvoir Castle. As such it illustrates how important a record prints can become when studying past genealogy. Lady Mary Isabella was the youngest of five daughters born to the 4th Duke of Beaufort. In December 1775 she married Charles, Marquess of Granby who later became the Duke of Rutland. Their marriage is a perfect example of how aristocratic families in the C18th forged a union with one another thereby securing and augmenting both political control and dynastic fortune. It was customary at the time to publicise births, marriages and military victories by the commissioning of a portrait and subsequent print run; how else would friends, family and foe be able to marvel at your good fortune?