Lady Elizabeth Finch thumbnail 1
Lady Elizabeth Finch thumbnail 2
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Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Sculpture, Room 22, The Dorothy and Michael Hintze Galleries

Lady Elizabeth Finch

Marble Bust
Artist/Maker

This marble bust inscribed Henrietta Finch and dated 1741 is a variant of one thought to be of Lady Elizabeth Finch by Louis Francois Roubiliac at Kenwood, London, formerly dated to c.1745. Because the present marble is a lesser copy of the Kenwood sculpture, it is likely that the Roubiliac at Kenwood in fact dates from slightly earlier than previously thought, probably around 1740. The present bust was formerly thought to be a portrait of Lady Henrietta Finch, Lady Elizabeth's sister, hence the inscription on the back of the integral socle. However it is possible that it was in fact executed by Henrietta, who is shown apparently with a bust on a modelling table in a family portrait of the early 1730s now at the Yale Center for British Art, as if she herself was a practising sculptor. This would mean that the inscription was a signature, rather than one identifying the sitter. As such, it is an extraordinary instance of a marble sculpture by an eighteenth-century woman sculptor in Britain. It is also an interesting example of a copy, and reflects the idea of multiples in sculpture, which was prevalent in the 18th and 19th centuries. The acquisitionof this bust by the V&A means that it joins other busts of members of the Finch family already in the collection. A pair of silver-gilt salvers marked by Charles Kandler which celebrates the marriage of Henrietta Finch to William Fitzroy, 3rd Duke of Cleveland in 1731/2 is also at the V&A, as part of the Gilbert collection. See http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O156660/salver-kandler-charles/




object details
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Carved marble.
Brief Description
Bust, marble, of Lady Elizabeth Finch, probably by her sister Henrietta Finch, English, 1741.
Physical Description
Marble bust of a woman on later marble socle.
Dimensions
  • Bust and socle height: 70 cm
  • Bust alone height: 55cm
  • Width: 43cm
Marks and Inscriptions
Henrietta Finch 1741 (This is probably the signature of the sculptor, and the date in which she made the bust of her sister Elizabeth. The bust is almost certainly a copy of a bust by Louis Francois Roubiliac. )
Gallery Label
Lady Henrietta Finch (died 1742) Lady Elizabeth Finch (1723–84) Signed and dated 1741 This bust, which portrays the artist’s sister, is one of the earliest known British sculptures made by a woman. It is a variant of a marble portrait bust of Elizabeth Finch by the famous 18th-century sculptor, Louis François Roubiliac, now at Kenwood House, London. Sculptures of other members of the Finch family are also on display in this gallery. London Marble(2021)
Credit line
Purchased partly using funds from Hildburgh Bequest
Subjects depicted
Summary
This marble bust inscribed Henrietta Finch and dated 1741 is a variant of one thought to be of Lady Elizabeth Finch by Louis Francois Roubiliac at Kenwood, London, formerly dated to c.1745. Because the present marble is a lesser copy of the Kenwood sculpture, it is likely that the Roubiliac at Kenwood in fact dates from slightly earlier than previously thought, probably around 1740. The present bust was formerly thought to be a portrait of Lady Henrietta Finch, Lady Elizabeth's sister, hence the inscription on the back of the integral socle. However it is possible that it was in fact executed by Henrietta, who is shown apparently with a bust on a modelling table in a family portrait of the early 1730s now at the Yale Center for British Art, as if she herself was a practising sculptor. This would mean that the inscription was a signature, rather than one identifying the sitter. As such, it is an extraordinary instance of a marble sculpture by an eighteenth-century woman sculptor in Britain. It is also an interesting example of a copy, and reflects the idea of multiples in sculpture, which was prevalent in the 18th and 19th centuries. The acquisitionof this bust by the V&A means that it joins other busts of members of the Finch family already in the collection. A pair of silver-gilt salvers marked by Charles Kandler which celebrates the marriage of Henrietta Finch to William Fitzroy, 3rd Duke of Cleveland in 1731/2 is also at the V&A, as part of the Gilbert collection. See http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O156660/salver-kandler-charles/





Collection
Accession Number
A.1-2013

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record createdDecember 6, 2012
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