Categories: Miniatures |

Lavinia Fenton, later Duchess of Bolton (1706-1760), by William Hogarth, circa 1740

A head study, with brown hair, wearing a white veil, oil on canvas, rectangular 7.4cm by 6.5cm.

Lavinia Fenton, probably the illegitimate daughter of a naval lieutenant named Beswick, took the name of Fenton from her mother’s husband, a coffee house owner.  She eventually became an actress and was painted by Hogarth in one of her most famous roles, as Polly Peachum in The Beggar’s Opera, with her lover and future husband, the 3rd Duke of Bolton, in a box nearby. This fragment of a painting almost certainly  portrays the actress in one of her roles.


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