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Harriott Blaxlandc 1840

by Attributed to Maurice Felton

By the 1840s, with their affluence rising, pioneering dynasties like the Blaxlands became avid clients for the colony’s growing pool of professional artists. Harriott, married to John Blaxland, was the matriarch of this self-proclaimed ‘aristocratic’ colonial family. Born in Madras, India, she was the only daughter of a French merchant, Count John Louis de Marquet. Keen to display her Indian connections, in this portrait she wears a fashionable evening turban of sheer, embroidered muslin, trimmed with artificial flowers. In line with the Blaxland family’s colonial reputation for dressing to impress, she also wears the de Marquet pearls which formed part of her dowry.