Joséphine Bowes (1825–1874)

Image credit: The Bowes Museum

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This unsigned portrait may be by Louis William Desanges, who painted portraits of society ladies. It represents the young Joséphine Bowes in a pink evening dress. The book on her lap and her thoughtful gaze imply she is an intelligent woman interested in the arts. She is wearing pearls on her dress and a diamond necklace, emphasizing her belonging to a wealthy family after her marriage to John Bowes, with whom she founded the Bowes Museum. The elaborate belt also forms part of the Museum’s collection. It is formed in sections of silver and gilt metal overlaid with symmetrical scrollwork mounted with turquoise, cut and faceted garnets, and pearls.

The Bowes Museum

Barnard Castle


Joséphine Bowes (1825–1874)




oil on canvas


H 94 x W 73.5 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

bequeathed by the Founders, 1885

Work type



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Normally on display at

The Bowes Museum

Barnard Castle, County Durham DL12 8NP England

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