3 of 30 portraits of Emma Hamilton
by Richard Cosway
pencil and watercolour, circa 1801
8 3/4 in. x 5 1/2 in. (222 mm x 140 mm)
Bequeathed by H.W. Murray, 1938
Click on the links below to find out more:
Sitterback to top
- Emma (née Lyon), Lady Hamilton (Baptised 1765-1815), Mistress of Lord Nelson. Sitter in 30 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Richard Cosway (1742-1821), Miniature painter. Artist associated with 96 portraits, Sitter in 15 portraits.
This portraitback to top
The daughter of a Cheshire blacksmith, Emma Hamilton became the mistress of Charles Greville, and later the wife of his uncle, Sir William Hamilton, the celebrated connoisseur who was British Ambassador in Naples. There she met Nelson after his decisive victory at the Nile and became his mistress. Fêted by Romney and other artists for her beauty, she gained a European reputation for her stylish 'tableaux vivants' or 'Attitudes', and is seen in this portrait as if dressed for one of her classical dances.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Ingamells, John, National Portrait Gallery: Mid-Georgian Portraits 1760-1790, 2004, p. 229
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 274
Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top
- Late Eighteenth Century Prints and Drawings (17 April 2004 - 5 September 2004)
Events of 1801back to top
Current affairsWlliam Pitt and Lord Castlereagh both resign over the King's refusal to permit the introduction of Catholic emancipation. Henry Addington, 1st Viscount Sidmouth succeeds Pitt as Prime Minister.
Census records 9 million people living in England and Wales, 5.2 million in Ireland and 1.6 million in Scotland.
Art and scienceRadical writer, Amelia Opie publishes her best known novel The Father and the Daughter. Said to have reduced Walter Scott to tears, it went on to enjoy success as an opera and a play.
InternationalOther members of the First Coalition fighting France with Britain agree to a humiliating peace treaty and Britain fights on alone.
A successful campaign is fought against the French army marooned in Egypt. General Sir Ralph Abercromby leads the troops but is killed in action.
Thomas Jefferson is elected President of the United States.
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- WebQuest: Pepys, Nelson, Seacole
- Only Connect - Emma Hamilton <> William Hamilton
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