Painted in 1787, two years before Reynolds lost his sight, this portrait of Anna Ward represents the eight-year-old illegitimate daughter of John, second Viscount Dudley and Ward, and Mrs. Mary Baker, whom Lord Dudley later married. This was one of thirteen Reynolds paintings included in the annual Royal Academy exhibition of 1787, of which six represented children. It reflects the increased interest in child portraits during the eighteenth century.
Painted in 1787 for the sitter’s father, John, 7th baron Ward of Birmingham, 2nd viscount Dudley and Ward of Dudley [1724/1725-88], Dudley and Birmingham, West Midlands, England;
his daughter, Anna Maria Ward St. Paul [c. 1779-1837], and her husband, Horace David Cholwell St. Paul [1775-1840], London;
by descent to their son, Horace St. Paul [d. 1891], Ewart Park, Northumberland, England;
sold by his estate to (Christie, Manson & Woods, London, through T. H. Woods);
purchased by (Asher Wertheimer, London);
purchased by Baron Nathaniel Mayer de Rothschild [1836-1905], Vienna, by 1902;
(Newhouse Galleries, Inc., New York);
purchased by Kimbell Art Foundation, Fort Worth, 1948.