Francesco Trevisani

Mrs John Hay, Countess of Inverness, d. 1766 (about 1725)

About this artwork

Lady Inverness was at the centre of the crisis which shook the Jacobites in 1725. Born Marjorie Murray, she married John Hay of Cromlix and followed him into exile after the failure of the 1715 Rising. Marjorie, her husband, and James Murray, her brother, dominated the king and his divisive court, but the queen, Clementina, detested all three of them. So much so that Clementina’s main reason for leaving her family in 1725 was Murray’s appointment as governor, although she also suspected her husband of having an affair with Marjorie. Such rumours, which were probably untrue, damaged the reputation of the Jacobites. Some also suspected Marjorie of being a secret agent for the British government.

Francesco Trevisani

Francesco Trevisani

Trevisani was one of the most important painters working in Rome at the beginning of the eighteenth century. His father, who was an architect, taught him to draw before sending him to Venice to continue his artistic training. He remained there until around 1678 when he left for Rome. It was in 1696 that Trevisani really came to prominence following his execution of a series of large-scale paintings in the church of San Silvestro in Capite, Rome. Alongside his religious commissions, Trevisani also painted many important portraits including members of the exiled Jacobite court. According to the eighteenth century biographer, Nicola Pio: “no one could equal his ability for embellishing the pictures with costly dress and accessories all painted in the most realistic and lively manner possible”