Explore Collections Explore The Collections
You are here: CollectionsOnline  /  A Persian lady worshipping the rising sun
  • image P145
SM P145. ©Sir John Soane's Museum, London. Photo: Art UK

Maria Cosway (1759 - 1838)

A Persian lady worshipping the rising sun


Oil on canvas

Height: 61cm, sight size
Width: 73.7cm, sight size

Inscription note: There is an old circular label, 139 or 739 (?) on the frame reverse. NB this does not seem to relate either to the Soane or to the picture's exhibition at the Royal Academy.

Museum number: P145

On display: Picture Room
All spaces are in No. 13 Lincoln's Inn Fields unless identified as in No. 12, Soane's first house. For tours https://www.soane.org/your-visit

Provenance help-art-provenance

A letter from Maria Cosway to John Soane (Soane Archive) dated April 27, 1822 explains that she had presented this painting to the Dowager Lady Lyttelton as a token of friendship; Lady Lyttelton then bequeathed it back to the artist in her Will; Maria Cosway then 'placed it with' her friend Mrs. George Hardinge; on her death 'the Persian came to me again' and was then given to Soane by the artist as a token of friendship (in 1822).


Soane, Description, 1830, p.15 and 38
Soane, Description, 1835, p. 20
A.T. Bolton, Portrait of Sir John Soane, 1927, p. 335
New Description, 2007, p. 31
Diane Boucher, 'Maria Cosway (1760-1838): A Commentator on modern life', The British Art Journal Vol. XVIII No. 3, Winter 2017/18, pp.78-86.

Exhibition history

Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1784

Soane collections online is being continually updated. If you wish to find out more or if you have any further information about this object please contact us: worksofart@soane.org.uk