Study for a lady with a lyre pen and ink over pencil 40 x 22 cm. (15 3/4 x 8 3/4 in.) unframed
It has been suggested by Alex Kidson that the present work, dating to the period 1776-1780, is an early study for Romney's portrait of Mrs John Birch, currently in the collection of the Phoenix Art Museum, Arizona and exhibited at the Romney exhibition held at the National Portrait Gallery in 2002 (see Alex Kidson, George Romney, 1734-1802, National Portrait Gallery, London, 2002, no. 87). The oil painting is half-length with Mrs Birch seated but Romney might well have experimented with a standing pose as a preliminary idea. The girl's wide-eyes, the headdress and the lyre are all consistent with the completed oil portrait.
We are grateful to Alex Kidson, Curator of British Art, the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool for his assistance in cataloguing this lot.