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Lady Jane Halliday's engaging image conveysmovement and energy. When looking at this portrait, one must take into consideration that of her sister, Lady Louisa Manners (see Contemplation, Image 1), as they were produced as a pair. The two pendant pieces signify the two very different characters of the sisters – and yet they are ingeniously intertwined by the protagonists' subtle gaze towards one another (Lady Jane's print was intended to be on the right of the two). One can interpret the figures' composition, pose, and clothing and relate it to their separate personalities. Lady Louisa is pictured in an enclosed outdoor setting with a solid, ponderous pose, her hair swept up in a fashionable and elaborate style; whereas Lady Jane is depicted dancing through a turbulent and rugged landscape with an 'off kilter' pose. The material moves with her figure and reflects the natural elements of the landscape.

In many of Reynolds'saristocratic female portraits he dresses his sitters in classical clothing, as he believed it transcended fashion – a timeless style which allows the image to surpass art history by releasing it from the constraints of its context. Here, intriguingly, Reynolds combines the classical with contemporary dress – creating an inventive fusion of styles. Contemporary fashion was heavy and corseted, and would have restrained the animation and energy that Lady Jane radiates. The diaphanous drapery falling from her left arm seems to have a life of its own. The free flowing, flimsy fabric mirrors the vagaries of the weather; its translucent, light-weight quality means it elegantly dances in the wind – the shapes that the breeze conduct have an organic, lucid effect. The wind is again personified by Lady Jane's hair. Her complex'up-do' is entwined with pearls, ribbons and ringlets, butthe blustery weather, alongside her energetic movement, has caused tendrils of Lady Jane's hair to break free from the stylish design. This slightly chaotic arrangement – reinforced by the way the loose strands of her hair blow one way, while her drapery billows out in another – renders her with carefree attributes asshe skips across the picture plane.

Reynolds's treatment of the folds in the fabricis delicate yet dramatic, which corresponds to her pose. He has taken into account the female form when approaching the drapery – the deep, dominant diagonal fold which cuts across the front of her skirt echoes the ghost of the previous movement. Although her feet are relatively solid on the grassy land, we are still given the impression that she has just leapt into the composition, emphasised by the way Reynolds's has placed her slightly off-centre. The fabric dominates the landscape with its intricate folds which are enhanced and highlighted by the stage-like lighting directed from the top right of the print, dramatizing the creases through chiaroscuro. Lady Jane emulates the weather and is thus integrated within the natural setting.

By Harriet Moir