woman; costume/uniform; portrait
Among the most prolific of Anglo-American painters working in the eighteenth century, Joseph Blackburn produced over one hundred portraits. This painting of Ann Faneuil Phillips, is part of a group of four owned by Smith College which includes her parents Gillam and Mary and her brother Andrew. Working in the Rococo style of Georgian London which is characterized by pastel colors, elaborate costumes, and contrived poses, Blackburn was the perfect choice for this wealthy loyalist family.
Ann is shown in a more protected interior space. Blackburn has paid particular attention to the complex patterns of the lace on the bodice and sleeves of her dress, and has invented several accessories including her roped pearls and hair ornaments. The Chinese vase which she holds protectively serves as a visual symbol of the source of this mercantile family’s substantial wealth.