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Mrs Robinson (1758–1800) earned the nickname ‘Perdita’ from her memorable performance in 'The Winter’s Tale' at the Drury Lane Theatre where she attracted the attention of the seventeen-year-old Prince of Wales (later George IV) in 1779. She became his first mistress and as a well-known society beauty was painted by the leading portraitists of the day: Reynolds, Gainsborough and Romney (see also Gainsborough P42 and Romney P37). The sitter and the artist became friends; the picture remained in Reynolds’s possession until his death, when Mrs Robinson composed a Monody to his memory.

The Wallace Collection



Mrs Mary Robinson




oil on canvas


H 77 x W 63.5 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

acquired by Richard Seymour-Conway, 4th Marquess of Hertford, 1859; bequeathed to the nation by Lady Wallace, 1897

Work type



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The Wallace Collection

Hertford House, Manchester Square, London, Greater London W1U 3BN England

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