Portrait of a Girl, watercolour, framed and glazed, by Sir Frederic William Burton.


Portrait of a Girl, watercolour, by Frederic William Burton, framed and glazed; the girl is sitting, wearing a white dress, with one hand on top of the other and wearing a black band on her right wrist. Probably dates to the 1840s.

On the back of the frame there was a handwritten note saying that the picture was reframed at Wellesleys in 1986 and that information from the original backing board was in an envelope stuck to the back of the frame. The information is now gone. However, the then owner showed, David Cahill, showed the painting to Marie Bourke between 2016-2018 and she noted the following inscription.

Mrs Shipsmith Taylor,

Nee Katie Holroyd

2nd daughter of Aunt Lucy Holroyd


to Jim Julius Fitzwilliam

This watercolour was acquired by Clare Museum from De Veres Auction in 2022 and it underwent conservation. It was framed with acid-free museum board, TruVue Museum Glass with 99% UV Protection.

Sir Frederic William Burton was born in Wicklow on 8 April 1816 and died on 16 March 1900 in London.

At the age of about six he was taken from Wicklow to Clare where he would grow up with his grandparents at Clifden House, Corofin. His early life in the west of Ireland would influence some of his landscape works.

He was educated in Dublin and was elected to the Royal Hibernian Academy in his early 20s. He specialised in watercolours and soon established himself as a portrait painter.

This painting is thought to date to the 1840s based on hairstyle and style of dress. It was exhibited at the 1865 International Exhibition of Art and Manufacturers, Dublin Exhibition Palace and Winter Garden, ‘Paintings in Watercolour British and Foreign’ included:

‘Frederick William Burton, No. 103, Portrait of Miss Meadows Taylor – watercolour – lent by Captain M Taylor’.

In 1874 he was appointed Director of the National Gallery and was responsible for the development of the collection, acquiring many important works.

Collection: Sir Frederic William Burton

Category: Visual Representation

2022.0130 (5227)