Lady Caroline Lamb
- Extended Catalogue Entry
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 Helen Lett (née Browne), 1946
Sitterback to top
- Lady Caroline Lamb (1785-1828), Novelist; Wife of William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne. Sitter in 2 portraits.
This portraitback to top
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'.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Gibson, Robin, The Face in the Corner: Animal Portraits from the Collections of the National Portrait Gallery, 1998, p. 52
- Robin Gibson, Pets in Portraits, 2015, p. 84
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 360
- Walker, Richard, Regency Portraits, 1985, p. 302
Events of 1811back to top
Current affairsGeorge III's insanity is finally publicly admitted amidst arguments in Parliament over the credibility of his doctors. George, Prince of Wales is appointed Regent despite doubts over his capacity to rule effectively. This prompts the Prince's final split with the Catholic Mrs Fitzherbert, his clandestine wife
Art and scienceJohn Loudon McAdam presents his new road surfacing technique to Parliament.
Jane Austen publishes Sense and Sensibility.
Sculptor Francis Leggatt Chantrey exhibits at the Royal Academy for the first time with a celebrated bust of the radical John Horne Tooke.
InternationalBattle of Albuera; British invade French-held Badajoz in Spain under William Carr Beresford and are victorious over Marshal Soult.