Lady Caroline Lamb

1 portrait

Lady Caroline Lamb, by Eliza H. Trotter, exhibited 1811 - NPG 3312 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Lady Caroline Lamb

by Eliza H. Trotter
oil on canvas, exhibited 1811
45 1/4 in. x 55 1/4 in. (1149 mm x 1403 mm)
Given by Lady Lett, 1946
Primary Collection
NPG 3312

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At the time at which this portrait was painted, Lady Caroline Lamb, the wife of the future prime minister William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne, was having an affair with Sir Godfrey Webster. Exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1811, the portrait includes coded references to their relationship. Webster is recorded as having given Lamb two presents, a bracelet and a dog, and in the portrait the miniature bull terrier (whose name is thought to have been Phyllis) wears two collars, one of which appears to be a bracelet of set and linked gemstones. Lamb, a romantic novelist, went on to have a string of lovers including Lord Byron whom she famously described as 'mad, bad and dangerous to know'.

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