Oil on canvas, previously attributed to Johann Zoffany, 1779;
Dido Elizabeth Belle is depicted here with her cousin Elizabeth Murray. This painting scandalised many of it’s 18th century audience due to its portrayal of Belle, a woman of colour, in a non-subservient position. Considered to be one of the first paintings to do so, it was probably commissioned by Belle’s father Admiral Sir John Lindsay in the late 1770’s.
Jessie Willcox Smith, illustration for Charles Kingsley’s The Water Babies, Published by New York: Dodd, Mead & Co., p. 140, 1916.
we’re the heirs to the glimmering world…