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Rose (Gardiner) Milles

Date: 1780-1783
94 x 58 3/4 in. (238.8 x 149.2 cm.)
Medium: oil on canvas
Credit Line: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
Object Number: 14.4
Label Text:This portrait was painted on the occasion of Rose Gardiner’s marriage to Jeremiah Milles, whose portrait also hangs in this gallery. Resting one elbow on a pillar, Rose Gardiner Milles paraphrases a pose frequently found in ancient Greek sculpture and vase paintings. The ideal of classical simplicity seems to have motivated Romney’s choices, from the loose arrangement of Milles’s hair and the fresh-scrubbed appearance of her face to the quiet, restrained positioning of her hands. Unlike the bold gestures Romney used in Jeremiah Milles’s portrait to express his sitter’s confidence and achievement, those of his wife are undemonstrative and convey no information about her personality or abilities.