A few years ago I took those photo of a little girl in the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, on Beaumont Street, Oxford.
By then I already knew everything about her and her family from unknown to me visitor from USA.
He came to Oxford Castle where I worked at that time and asked me where he can see the painting of Penelope Boothby, aged 4, by Sir Joshua Reynolds.
I was unaware of it. He showed me old original manuscript of the book about history of the painting and I got very interested to find it.
I was told that before its was on the wall behind the door of some room in the Ashmolean Museum.
We went there, nobody knew anything about it. My husband started to look in every room. Then we found it in a Music room. And I managed to take only one photo.
Penelope’s father was Sir Brooke Boothby, 6th Baronet.
On 19 March 1791, disaster struck. She died at the age of five.
A remarkable tomb constructed for her which included a life-size statue of her sleeping. The tomb is in St. Oswald’s Church in Ashbourne along with many other Boothby memorials and graves.
The Boothby Monument, described as being so lifelike that the child could be sleeping, is inscribed with an epitaph to Penelope’s honour: “She was in form and intellect most exquisite. The unfortunate Parents ventured their all on this frail Bark. And the wreck was total”
Some people come from USA just to look at the painting of Penelope Boothby! I am speechless.
For more information and pictures about it can visit this site.