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Emma, Lady Hamilton

3 of 28 portraits of Emma, Lady Hamilton

Emma, Lady Hamilton, by Richard Cosway, circa 1801 - NPG 2941 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Emma, Lady 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
Primary Collection
NPG 2941


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  • Richard Cosway (1742-1821), Miniature painter. Artist associated with 96 portraits, Sitter in 15 portraits.

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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.

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