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Lady Sarah Bunbury Sacrificing to the Graces

Large painting, woman in pink dress in front of classical sculpture, shrine.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • Large painting, woman in pink dress in front of classical sculpture, shrine.




Sir Joshua Reynolds
English, 1723–1792

About this artwork

Dressed in Classically inspired robes, Lady Sarah Bunbury pours a libation of oil as an offering to the Three Graces, positioned behind her. Her soon-to-be husband, Charles Bunbury, commissioned this marriage portrait, making her association with the Graces—symbols of fertility and attendants to the Roman goddess of love, Venus—all the more appropriate.

The first president of the Royal Academy in London, Sir Joshua Reynolds urged his fellow artists to paint historical and edifying subjects based on the art of antiquity and the Renaissance. As a portrait painter, he developed a grand style that ennobled the genre by giving his sitters Classical attributes and poses.


On View, Gallery 218


Painting and Sculpture of Europe


Sir Joshua Reynolds


Lady Sarah Bunbury Sacrificing to the Graces


England (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Oil on canvas


242.6 × 151.5 cm (95 1/2 × 59 3/4 in.)

Credit Line

Mr. and Mrs. W. W. Kimball Collection

Reference Number


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