- Museum number
Portrait of Lady Layard; oil painting on canvas in heavy gilt frame showing Lady Layard wearing her jewellery in the Assyrian style.
- Production date
Height: 128 centimetres (frame)
Height: 101.50 centimetres (painting)
Width: 105 centimetres (frame)
Width: 78.50 centimetres (painting)
Depth: 8.30 centimetres (frame)
- Curator's comments
- The sitter, Enid Guest (Lady Layard) (1843-1912), was the daughter of the industrialist Sir Josiah John Guest (1785-1852). Her mother, the collector Lady Charlotte Schreiber (1812-1895), is better known by the name of her second husband. Lady Charlotte was the daughter of the 9th Earl of Lindsey and his second wife Charlotte Susanna Elizabeth Layard. This family connection was strengthened in 1869 when Enid married her much older cousin the distinguished Assyrian excavator and diplomat Austen Henry Layard (1817-94). As a wedding present Layard had a number of seals which he had acquired from sites such as Kujunjik and Babylon made up into a necklace, bracelet and two earrings in new gold settings. Lady Layard wrote in her diary that when, in 1873, she dined with Queen Victoria at Osborne House, Isle of Wight, the jewellery was “much admired”.
The painting, originally slightly larger, was produced at Madrid in 1870 during Layard’s appointment as Ambassador to Spain. The artist, a fashionable portrait painter, worked on it over twenty-three sittings. This and the portrait by Vigor are the only two portraits of Lady Layard whose whereabouts are known.
See also C. Gere & J. Rudoe, 'Jewellery in the Age of Queen Victoria: A Mirror to the World', London, British Museum, 2010, fig. 370, jacket and p.395
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2013 22 June - 2014 6 Jan, Toronto, Royal Ontario Museum, 'Mesopotamia, Inventing Our World'
2013 30 Jan-13 May, Museum of History, Hong Kong, 'The Wonders of Ancient Mesopotamia'
2012 4 May-7 Oct, Melbourne Museum, 'The Wonders of Ancient Mesopotamia'
2008 21 Sept-2009 4 Jan, Boston, MFA, 'Art and Empire'
2007 2 Apr-30 Sept, Alicante, MARQ Museum, 'Art and Empire'
2006 1 Jul-7 Oct, Shanghai Museum, 'Art and Empire'
2004 15 Oct-2005 16 Jan, London, Leighton House Museum and Linley Sambourne House, 'The Price of Beauty: Edward Long's 'Babylonian Marriage Market'
2001 30 March-29 July, 'Viaggio in Italia', Italy
1993 18 Nov-1994 15 Feb, France, Paris, Musée du Louvre, 150 ème Anniversaire de la Decouverte des Assyriens
Exhibition: 'Layard and his Successors. Assyrian Explorations and Discovery in the XIXth century', Assyrian Basement 1 Jul-31 Aug 1963.
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Recognised in the gallery window by Charlotte Gere, and purchased by the BM
- Middle East
- Registration number