Closely influenced by the work of Marco and Sebastiano Ricci, the paintings should be dated to circa 1720. Somerley dates from 1792, when Daniel Hobson began an elegant villa to designs by Samuel Wyatt; Hobson died in 1805, and in 1811 his heir sold Somerley to Henry Baring (1776-1848), a scion of the great banking family, who finished the interior and added the south colonnade, before selling the house to Welbore Ellis Agar, 2nd Earl of Normanton (1778-1868). Normanton - together with his wife, Lady Diana, daughter of the 11th Earl of Pembroke - was a great collector, who added a picture gallery to house his collection. The gallery was painted by C.J. Walker in 1853 (see J. Cornforth, English Interiors 1790-1848: The Quest for Comfort, London, 1978, p. 84, figs. 94 and 95), and was described in glowing terms by Gustav Waagen a year later. The paintings included such works as Parmigianino's Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine (National Gallery, London) and Titian's Venus and Adonis (J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles), as well as a celebrated group of paintings by Reynolds acquired at the sale of the estate of the artist's niece, Lady Thomond.