This exhibition consists of 48 masterpieces. This will be the first tour of this important group of works from the Iveagh Bequest and will provide a unique opportunity to see these superb paintings outside the United Kingdom. Most of these paintings have never traveled to the United States before and many of them have rarely been seen outside Kenwood.
The collection is particularly strong in works by such Golden Age 18th-century English portraitists as Sir Joshua Reynolds, Thomas Gainsborough and George Romney, whose depictions of society beauties of the Georgian era, also known as Englan'’s “Age of Aristocracy,” held a great appeal for Lord Iveagh.
Among the several fine Gainsboroughs in the exhibition is the sumptuous full-length portrait Mary, Countess Howe (c. 1764), an image of both aristocratic elegance and of a landowner among her properties. Such full-length portraits of ladies in nature were very popular during this period, owing to a great admiration for the aristocratic portraits of Van Dyck.
Amidst the works by Dutch and Flemish masters in the exhibition is Rembrandt's sublime Portrait of the Artist (c. 1665), one of the artist's last self-portraits and one of only a few of his many self-portraits that show him in the act of painting.