These pastel portraits depict George Rice (1765-1852), later third Baron Dynevor, and his sister Henrietta Rice (1758-1849). They are by John Russell (1745-1806), who has been called the last of the masters of pastel painting in the heyday of the art.
These portraits were purchased in 2006 with generous donations from the late Simon Sainsbury and from the Kensington and Chelsea National Trust Association.
They have returned to Newton House, formerly the ancestral home of the Rice family, Barons Dynevor, and are on display in the Drawing Room.
The Rice family (originally spelled Rhys, the name was anglicised in 1547) has roots in this part of Carmarthenshire dating back to the twelfth century.
In about 1770 George Rice and his wife Cecil, the parents of the children shown here, gothicised the house and, with the help of ‘Capability’ Brown, naturalised the park. Further alterations in the 1850s turned the house into a cross between a Venetian Palazzo and a French chateau.
The National Trust acquired the park in the 1980s, with the help of local authorities and other organisations, and the house in 1990. The interiors have been recreated as they would have looked in the Edwardian era.