At around the same time as Catherine the Great was amassing her diamonds, James, first Duke of Leinster, was dressing the help in ermine and golden slippers for the benefit of posterity.
The end product was ‘Gerald Fitzgerald's negro servant holding bold Sir William in a landscape, a poodle besides', a magnificent painting by one of Ireland's finest 18th century artists, Thomas Roberts.
Roberts' glittering career began at the age of 18 when he...
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