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Keira Knightley's model for 'The Duchess'?

October 10, 2008 |  4:31 pm


In "The Duchess," Keira Knightley plays the spritely Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire. The young socialite's flair for high style and towering hairdos adorned with colorful plumage led to her nickname the "empress of fashion."
Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire_2 For a peek at what the real-life duchess looked like, head over to San Marino and the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens. Joshua Reynolds' full-size portrait of "Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire," can be found in the Huntington Art Gallery, the historic residence of Henry and Arabella Huntington that was refurbished and reopened in May

She’s in good company inside the 2,900-square-foot Portrait Gallery: Nearby are Thomas Gainsborough’s “The Blue Boy,” as well as Thomas Lawrence’s “Pinkie,” and Reynolds' “Sarah Siddons as the Tragic Muse.”

"The Duchess," which has been in limited release, opens wide this weekend.

--Lisa Fung

Top photo: Keira Knightley as Georgiana, the Duchess of Devonshire in "The Duchess"

Credit: Paramount Vantage

At right: Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, by Joshua Reynolds. Oil on canvas.

Credit: Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens

UPDATE: An earlier version referred to Georgiana in one reference as the Duchess of Dorchester rather than the Duchess of Devonshire.