The identity of the young woman is not known for certain, but she is suspected to be Elizabeth ‘Elsie’ Ebsworth, who married, four years after this portrait was painted, Scottish-born army officer and Conservative politician George Swinton. In 1897, now a professional singer and society hostess, Elizabeth was painted by Annie’s friend and supporter, John Singer Sargent.
The correct title should be ‘The Debutante’. A ‘debutant’ (i.e., without an ‘e’ on the end) is a male making his first public appearance, not a female.
LOCATION: CURRENTLY ON DISPLAY AT MANCHESTER ART GALLERY, LENT BY RICHARD TAYLOR FINE ART.
Photos: Jonathan Russell.