Lady Castlereagh and the artist co-operated together in the design of the formal portrait, for which this is a sketch. The finished painting was to be hung in the big portrait gallery in Londonderry House on Park Lane, London, among their collection of Gainsborough, Reynolds and Lawrence pictures. There exists another preparatory sketch of the sitter standing full length in a room at Londonderry House, which remains in the collection of a descendant of the artist's brother, Marczi László. The sitter was also drawn by John Singer Sargent in 1913.
The Viscountess Castlereagh, later Marchioness of Londonderry, wife of the 7th Marquess, née The Hon. Edith Chaplin, D.B.E., J.P., was born in 1878, the eldest daughter of 1t Viscount Chaplin. She married Charles Stewart Henry Vane-Tempest-Stewart, later 7th Marquess of Londonderry, in November 1899. She was the most distinguished political hostess of her day, an early and influential supporter of women's suffrage, and a brilliant gardener, creating the Mount Stewart gardens in Co. Down, now owned by the National Trust. She died in 1959.
We are grateful to Sandra de Laszlo for her assitance in cataloguing this work.