The Cover Section Editor: M. Therese Southgate,
MD, Senior Contributing Editor.
In 18th-century England, the Industrial Revolution and overseas trade
brought increased wealth to the affluent. To validate their social standing,
the wealthy sat for portrait paintings. The demand was so great that British
painter George Romney (1734-1802) painted 9000 portraits over a 20-year span.
Romney could paint 7 portraits in the time it took other painters such as
Thomas Gainsborough (JAMA cover, July 9, 1997) and Sir Joshua Reynolds (JAMA
cover, September 20, 2000) to complete one. Some attribute his quick execution
to periods of elevated mood. Most appreciated his speed. His fees were considerably
lower than the other masters': 20 guineas for a three-quarter length as against
Gainsborough's 30, and Reynolds' 50.
Walker JM. Miss Juliana Willoughby. JAMA. 2001;285(24):3061. doi:10.1001/jama.285.24.3061