Alexander Constantine Ionides began a long and affectionate friendship with Watts in 1837 and this work was the first of many portrait commissions.

The painting shows the couple with their four eldest children and may have been prompted by the birth of their fourth child in 1840 or by their move to Tulse Hill the same year. The two eldest brothers are depicted wearing Greek national dress, a motif introduced to demonstrate the pride that the family took in their Greek ancestry.


Commissioned by Alexander Constantine Ionides; his daughter, Aglaia Ionides, later Mrs Coronio; by family descent.

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