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In this enchanting portrait, Reynolds presents the two-year-old Lady Caroline Scott (1774-1854), third daughter of the 3rdDuke of Buccleuch, pictured in an idyllic wintry scene. In fact, this portrait was not actually formally commissioned by the family. Reynolds had been asked to paint Lady Caroline's brother, Charles, Earl of Dalkeith (1772-1819). However, when Lady Caroline rushed into the room where the portrait was being painted, all wrapped up to play in the snow, Reynolds was so charmed by the little girl that he offered to paint her on the spot, free of charge.

Such a story is testament to Lady Caroline's endearing lack of decorum, an attribute one would expect of a toddler, and her portrait reflects this. Set against a bare winter backdrop, the child's exuberance instils life into the scenery.Dressed in a long, dark cloak, frilly bonnet and lacy muff, a smile plays about her mouth, and she appears to be thoroughly enjoying the attention that her audience (both within and outside the picture plane) is paying her. The robin which hops beside the subject's feet could simply be a symbol of winter, but might also pertain to Lady Caroline's juvenile qualities – British robins are famously easy to tame and are generally very trusting of humans. Taking the bird imagery more broadly, it could also reference a lively and free spirit.

This portrait was probably exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1777, along with the identically-sized pendant portrait of Lady Caroline's brother. In both portraits a dog is featured. Here, the terrier gazes up at the girl so that the viewer's attention is directed towards her. In the portrait of Charles, however, the spaniel looks up at an owl perched next to the boy, detracting from the main protagonist. By exhibiting these two paintings together, Reynolds showcased his skill at manipulating symbols to produce different meanings.

By Grace Summon