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Ary Scheffer, Mrs Robert Hollond

Key facts
Full title Mrs Robert Hollond
Artist Ary Scheffer
Artist dates 1795 - 1858
Date made 1851
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 81.9 × 60.3 cm
Inscription summary Signed; Dated
Acquisition credit Bequeathed by Robert Hollond, with a life-interest to his widow; entered the Collection, 1885
Inventory number NG1169
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
Mrs Robert Hollond
Ary Scheffer

Mrs Hollond (1822–1884), born Ellen Julia Teed, was the wife of the pioneering balloonist and MP Robert Hollond. She was a writer and philanthropist who lived for part of each year in Paris, where she held a salon that attracted intellectuals of a progressive cast of mind. Ary Scheffer was a painter who appealed to Mrs Hollond and her circle, and in 1851 he painted this carefully pared-down portrait of her. Mrs Hollond is presented with studied simplicity – colours, setting, distracting clothing and jewellery are kept to a minimum to stress the soulfulness of her expression. This gives the picture a timeless feel: Mrs Hollond may be a Victorian woman with liberal sympathies but she could also be a Roman matron or a figure from the Bible.

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