The picture and its pendant, a portrait of Prince Giustiniani, were commissioned by William Constable (I721-1791), a member of an old North Country family, who had twice visited Rome as a younger man and was a keen amateur of the arts.

He was related to the Princess. Batoni was 77 when he painted the portraits, which have been compared to those of Goya in their almost cruel characterisation. The Princess's likeness is particularly penetrating, although the tragic loss of two of her children two years earlier may account for her looking much older than her real age of 44.


William Constable; anon,. sale, Christie's, 1953; Antony Clark; Christie's, July 1978.

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