Historical Portraits Picture Archive

An allegory of astronomy 1790s

Moses Haughton 

An allegory of astronomy, Moses Haughton
Oil on canvas
18th Century
This appears at first glance to be a portrait of a lady in a landscape, against the sort of the rocky promentory which first appears in British art with the painting of Van Dyck, in which it features as an emblem of constancy as well as a convenient framing device. But in reality - though it may well also be a portrait of a now unknown sitter - the wealth of accoutrements reveal the painting to be an allegorical representation of one of the sciences, perhaps astronomy, which would agree with her sky-gazing attitude.
Philip Mould Ltd, 18-19 Pall Mall, London, SW1Y 5LU.Copyright Philip Mould Ltd.