When I was growing up, I remember this painting of another
little girl which hung in a wooden frame in the hallway
of our home. I always called her, "the little girl with the pink ribbons".
I would later learn, from the brief biography on the back of the
framed print, that this dainty and dignified child was a
real person whose name was Juliana Willoughby.
Juliana was the daughter of Sir Christopher Willoughby.
Her famous portrait, painted when she was six years old, is the work of
one of England's premier Golden Age portrait artists, George Romney.
The original portrait of "Miss Willoughby", can be seen today in the
National Gallery Of Art in Washington, DC.
Juliana's large dark eyes always intrigued me when I
would look at her picture on the wall. Today, I have my own
print of "the little girl with the pink ribbons" in my home.
I often wonder what she was really thinking while posing for her portrait,
probably standing there for hours, and yet, so pretty and poised and patient!
Perhaps beneath that serene expression on her round
little face lurked an exasperated tomboy at heart, who silently fumed,
" How much longer am I going to have to stand here dressed up like this?
I'd much rather be out climbing trees or riding my pony!"