John Sherwin after Richard Cosway
Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cumberland and Strathern
8 x 11 inches
A stipple plate etching printed in sanguine ink; engraved by Sherwin after the drawing by Cosway and published in London in 1780.
Anne, the Duchess of Cumberland and Strathern (1743-1808) was born a commoner and only became a member of the royal family when she married her second husband, Prince Henry, the 6th child of George III's brother Frederick Prince of Wales. George III thoroughly disapproved of her because she was both a commoner and a divorcee. She did, however, gain social notoriety through her beauty and flirtatious manner. Horace Walpole was quite acerbic in his assessment. Whilst acknowledging that she was indeed "pretty" he went on to say that "her coquetry was so active, so varied and yet so habitual that it was difficult not to see through it and yet as difficult to resist it". In this image we see her aged 37 looking very alluring with a garland of flowers and gesturing towards a crown; leaving us in no doubt as to her royal connections!