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Richard Cosway (bapt.1742 d.1821)

A self-portrait with Maria Cosway and Ottobah Cugoano signed and dated 1784

Etching | 24.5 x 31.5 cm (sheet of paper) | RCIN 653010

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Richard Cosway shows himself seated with his wife Maria and their servant, the anti-slavery campaigner Ottobah Cugoano, supposedly in their garden at Schomberg House in Pall Mall. The composition is an homage to two celebrated marital self-portraits by Rubens. Cugoano is not just a decorative foil: he interacts with his employers elegantly rather than subserviently, handing Maria a bunch of grapes as if he were an angel in a Rest on the Flight into Egypt.