Portrait of Mrs Abington (c1731-1815) after Reynolds. A half-length figure of a woman facing to right in an oval frame wearing a white satin cardinal cape with hood at back, trimmed with lace and tied with a bow at the neckline; her left hand clasping her right and her hair powdered in a high style decorated with pearls. Born Frances Burton, and known as Fanny, Mrs Abington was a celebrated actress from 1755 when she joined the Drury Lane company. She was also known for her fashion and hailed as the best-dressed woman of her era, inspiring the 'Abington Cap'. Whilst it was common for portraits of eighteenth century women to be commissioned by fathers and husbands, Mrs Abington commissioned this portrait of herself. Her portrait helped in the development of her public image. Published by mezzotinter James Watson, her brother-in-law, in London on 20 May 1772.
support: 33cm x 27.7cm
Place of creation
Dr David Lloyd Roberts bequest, 1920
© Manchester Art Gallery