An elderly woman
- Pastels on vellum on the original stretcher
- 28 ½ × 23 ½ inches · 724 × 596 mm
- Signed and dated, lower right: 'A. Skirving 1803'
In the original frame
- H. W. Cage, 1901;
- Esmé Church, d.1972;
- Anonymous sale, Clifford Dann & Partners, Lewes, Sussex, 15th–16th April 1980, lot 172;
- McEwan Gallery, Ballater;
- Edward T Ash, (acquired from the above c. 1980), 2015;
- and by descent, to 2016;
- Lowell Libson Ltd;
- Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, acquired from the above, 2016.
- Edinburgh, Scottish National Portrait Gallery, 1999, Raeburn’s Rival: Archibald Skirving 1749 – 1819, no. 99;
- Edinburgh, Scottish National Portrait Gallery, 2008, The Intimate Portrait, Drawings, Miniatures and Pastels from Ramsay to Lawrence, no. 49;
- On loan to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, 1999-2016.
- H. W. Thompson ed., The Anecdotes and Egotisms of Henry Mackenzie 1745 – 1831, London, 1927, p. 213.
- Daphne Foskett, A Dictionary of British Miniature Painters, 2 vols, London, 1987, pp. 236-7, pl. 57G, for a discusion of the miniature;
- Tanja Sundström, Aspects of the Life and Work of Archibald Skirving (1749-1819), unpublished M. Phil. Thesis, University of St Andrews, 1994;
- Stephen Lloyd, Raeburn’s Rival: Archibald Skirving 1749 – 1819, Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh, 1999, pp. 67-8, no. 99, col. pl. 18, (as unknown sitter, possibly Mrs Tait);
- Neil Jeffares, The Dictionary of Pastellists before 1800, London, 2006, p. 502;
- Stephen Lloyd and Kim Sloan, The Intimate Portrait, Drawings, Miniatures and Pastels from Ramsay to Lawrence, Edinburgh, 2008, p. 93, no. 49, repr. Neil Jeffares, Dictionary of Pastellists before 1800, online edition.
Yale Center for British Art, New Haven