Two 18th-century portraits in the collection of Rienzi, the MFAH house museum for European decorative arts, inspire a suitably old-fashioned pursuit: coloring.
To find out more about these two paintings, read below and look through the slideshow. Then download and print the coloring sheets to create your own masterpiece portraits featuring Joseph Wright of Derby’s Portrait of a Gentleman and George Romney’s Elizabeth, Lady Blunt.
Portrait of a Gentleman by Joseph Wright of Derby
Joseph Wright, a landscape and portrait painter known for his use of light and color, is considered one of the first major English painters with a career outside of London. Noted for paintings of the working man and paintings of scientific experiments, Wright did commissioned portraits to fund his other work. Though the subject of Portrait of a Gentleman is unknown, the man depicted in the painting displays a popular pose of the time. Portrait of a Gentleman hangs in the dining room at Rienzi, near the portrait of Rienzi’s former owner, collector Harris Masterson III.
Elizabeth, Lady Blunt by George Romney
George Romney, a successful portrait painter, was well known in London despite not being a member of the Royal Academy. Though not much is documented about Lady Blunt, Romney portrays her as a well-educated woman, depicting her with a bust of a classical philosopher. She holds a relaxed posture atypical of comparable female portraits, and she wears a less-restrictive dress than the popular corseted dresses of the time. Elizabeth, Lady Blunt hangs in the drawing room at Rienzi, where the draperies and the room’s paint color echo Lady Blunt’s sash.