Monday, April 25, 2011

Two Portraits by Joshua Reynolds

It's interesting how material turns up all over the place. Surfing around I found two interesting paintings by Joshua Reynolds with connections to 18th Century India. The first picture is of Captain John Foote, HEIC in ceremonial native costume.

The picture was painted c1761. Although it is sometimes referred to as Foote going "native" it appears that is far from the case. The subject was a friend and neighbour of Reynolds and it was clearly painted in England. Very much a case of the subject displaying the orientalism much in vogue at that time.

The second painting is George Clive ,M.P. and family. The subject was the cousin of the victor of Plassey. I have seen this painting described as Clive of India, but that is obviously wrong! Also present is an Indian servant girl, which would appear to be an attempt to relate the subject to his cousin.

Painted c.1765

I have read a notation somewhere that this Clive was also a member of the HEIC, although can't find anything to confirm that. In fact, I have found it hard to find much about him at all.

Any information on Foote or George Clive would be much appreciated.


1 comment:

  1. Apparently my great great great great grandfather, George Weston, was an officer in the HEIC before he came out to Australia around 1815.

    He went on to marry Blanche Johnston, Lieutenant-Colonel George Johnston's daughter, the same Johnston who came out in the First Fleet, put down the Irish Rebellion at Vinegar Hill and deposed Bligh for governorship of NSW.

    Unfortunately I know little more about great granddaddy Weston.