The Marriage of Sir John Pryce (d. 1761)
Media: oil on canvas
Size: 40.6 x 62.2 cm
Acquired: 1977; Purchase
Accession Number: NMW A 217
This painting passed by descent through the Pryces of Newtown Hall, Mongomeryshire (Powys) and is identified as an allegory of the marriage of Sir John Pryce (c.1698-1761), 5th baronet. A well known eccentric, Pryce married three times, but the painting probably celebrates his controversial marriage in 1737 to Mary Morris, a local farmer's daughter, whom he described as a lady of 'incomparable beauty ... modest, chaste and virtuous'. She died in 1739, and in a thousand line elegy he affirmed that with his last breath he would 'lisp Maria's Name'. He kept her embalmed body in his bedroom until his remarriage in 1741. See also NMW A 1721.