Artwork of the Week: December 7

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Chinese, made for export, Portrait of Elizabeth Graham Painted on a Mirror, reverse-painting on mirrored glass, about 1785. 51 3/16 x 35 1/16 in. Glass Pavilion, Gallery 4

In 1781 Captain John Lennox set sail for India and China on a ship commissioned by the British East India Company. Lennox was enamored of the young Elizabeth Graham (1764–1832). According to family tradition, he took miniature portraits of both her and her twin sister, Christian (1764–1847), with him to China and commissioned reverse-painted mirror portraits of them, as well as one of himself (now lost). This romantic gesture did not, apparently, win Elizabeth, for she eventually married James Dundas of Ochtertyre in 1794 at age 30, with whom she had five sons. The portrait of her sister is also in the Toledo Museum of Art’s collection.


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