Artwork of the Week: May 11

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Sir Joshua Reynolds (British, 1732–1792), Mrs. Cholmondeley and Child, oil on canvas, 1761. 49 1/2 x 39 1/2 in. Gallery 28A

In honor of Mother’s Day, we highlight this portrait of 30-year-old Mrs. Mary Cholmondeley (pronounced in the British style as “Chumley”) and her young, adoring son—one of five children she would have with the prominent Reverend Robert Cholmondeley. Though born into a humble Irish family, Mary commanded social attention in London, where it was said of her, “people came to her salon because of her social position; they returned because of her natural wit.”

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