|Portrait of a Baby, Possibly Prince Edward|
The Royal Collection
Image Courtesy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
Painted by Francis Cotes (1726-70), circa 1768-1769, this work of oil on canvas was first recorded in the Royal Collection during the reign of Queen Victoria.
Regardless of his identity, the baby is a cheeky boy, impersonating Cupid--complete with faux wings, a quiver of arrows and a theatrical floral garland. During this period, artists such as Reynolds were employing this sort of "mock-mythology" in portraits of young ladies, but, if the attributed date of the painting is to be trusted, we can see that Cotes was among the first to adopt the idea in the representation of infants.