A Fireside Read
William Mulready, RA 1786-1863
Oil on panel; signed
14 ½ x 12 inches.
“This picture, painted in Mulready's liquid palette of warm caramel tones, is an unusually intimate study of domestic quiet, datable to about 1825. The little painting on the mantelpiece looks also to be by Mulready. The identity of the sitter poses a problem, for Mulready's private life is something of a mystery — a Roman Catholic, he was acrimoniously separated from his wife Elizabeth, the daughter of John Varley, and he seems to have had a close and long-lasting relationship with a 'Mrs. Leckie' from at least 1826, when he drew her next to his son (ill. Heleniak p. 15). She resembles ihe sitter in this picture” (48).
Image and text courtesy of the Maas Gallery, which holds copyright.