Large George III Silkwork Picture of Chiswick House
showing the West front of the house with two female figures, perhaps Lady Georgiana and Lady Harriet Cavendish, daughters of the owner, William Cavendish, 5th Duke of Devonshire, born in 1783 and 1785 respectively, standing beside the Serpentine River, terminating in the cascade in the foreground which was created by landscaping and canalising the Bollo Brook. Worked in an unusual combination of paint/ink and tiny stitches on a silk ground. Presented in an ebonised and gilt frame
The original source for this image would appear to be an engraving of the West Front circa 1750 after JOHN DONOWELL (FL.1753-1786), however the costume that the figures are wearing would suggest a date of circa 1800-1810 by which time the wings had been added to the house, therefore the artist was working from an outdated view of the house and updated this by placing the figures in fashionable dress of the day. This piece was purchased in the United States so this might explain why the artist was working from an outdated source. It’s also possible that it was worked by a member of the family, and Lady Caroline Ponsonby, born 1785 (and later, as Lady Caroline Lamb, achieving notoriety for her extra-marital affair with Lord Byron, who later married her cousin), who was the Duchess of Devonshire’s adored niece, spent much of her childhood and teenage years with the Cavendish family.