The miniature shows Julia at a young age and would have been painted sometime during the very early years of their long and happy relationship.
About 1826 George Richmond fell in love with Julia (1811-1881), the beautiful fourteen-year-old sister of the Tatham brothers, whose father had engaged Richmond to give her drawing lessons. Although old Tatham had encouraged the romance, his diminishing fortune brought a change of mind when a rich and elderly suitor expressed interest in Julia. Learning of this, the young couple – encouraged by Palmer, who loaned Richmond £40 – eloped to Gretna Green, where they were married on 24 January 1831. Back in London, Richmond set up home at 27 Northumberland Street, New Road, sending Julia to stay for the time being with Palmer’s father at Shoreham. Meanwhile John Linnell persuaded Tatham that Richmond had a promising future. Tatham forgave them, and within three weeks George and Julia were reunited: their marriage proved to be long and happy. They had fifteen children, of whom ten survived infancy; with this growing family Richmond needed a reliable income, and he spent most of his remaining working life painting portraits.