The pictures – three oils and a watercolour – came from the estate of Barbara Judd (1926-2013). They had previously hung at Ham and had been given to Barbara Judd by her grandfather Sir Lyonel Tollemache, 4th Bt., and his son (her uncle) Cecil Tollemache, 5th Bt. The 4th Baronet and his son jointly gave Ham to the National Trust in 1948.
The pictures are recorded as hanging in the Green Closet and in other rooms at Ham House. Many of the interiors at Ham are still more or less as they were in the seventeenth century, making the house an extraordinary baroque time capsule.
Maria Caroline Duff (1775-1805) was the daughter of Louisa Manners (née Tollemache), who became Countess of Dysart and owner of Ham after the death of her childless brother Wilbraham in 1821. This picture was commissioned by Maria’s husband after her early death, poignantly depicting her ‘in apotheosis’.