We have found that Sarah’s husband Anthony Barker Goring b, 1770, Barbados, married Sarah Archer 6 Aug 1819 and died 11. Jul 1852 in Barbados. Then 28 years later on August 3rd 1880 Sarah Goring died on Leamington rd Villa, Westbourne Park – “relict” of Anthony Barker Goring of Demerara and Barbados aged 79.
Anthony Goring was a wealthy sugar plantation owner in Barbados. In 1836 he was awarded 1,491 for compensation for slaves after the abolishment of slavery. His wife, Sarah the sitter, would effectively have been a lady of leisure.
The level of skill seen in the painting is high, with Sarah being around forty in the painting at the height of prominence, depicted with a hint of a smile, this would have been ‘her moment’ capturing her at her best.
As with the ‘selfie’ today, portraits were also a chance for more self-conscious sitters to be depicted in the latest fashions. In the eighteenth century, the upper classes entered a new era of prosperity. No longer the preserve of royalty, commissioned portraits, of oneself or one’s ancestors, became a coveted symbol of wealth and status which continued even more so in the nineteenth century. The portraits took pride of place in the home or were given to others as gifts.
A sitter with an interesting backstory, and if nothing else a delightfully unspoiled decorative painting.