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Emma Hamilton

Emma Hamilton, by George Romney, circa 1785 -NPG 294 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Emma Hamilton

by George Romney
circa 1785
29 in. x 23 1/2 in. (737 mm x 597 mm)
NPG 294

This portraitback to top

See NPG 4448. A kit-cat version, sold Sotheby's, 15 July 1998, lot 50, as Lady Hamilton as a Bacchante, shows a mirror on the table to the left. Other closely related compositions include the Medea in the Norton Simon Foundation, Los Angeles [1], The Comic Muse with Leggatt in 1948 (‘Portraits of Emma Hart, Lady Hamilton’, H. Ward & W. Roberts, Romney, A Biographical and Critical Essay with a Catalogue Raisonné of his Works, 1904, II, 8b), and the Bacchantes with the University of Missouri (79.103), and with Sir Philip Antrobus in 1989. [2]

Footnotesback to top

1) P. Jaffé, Lady Hamilton, exhibition catalogue, Kenwood, 1972, no.17 illus.; a version sold Sotheby's, 27 June 1973, lot 13.
2) ‘Portraits of Emma Hart, Lady Hamilton’, H. Ward & W. Roberts, Romney, A Biographical and Critical Essay with a Catalogue Raisonné of his Works, 1904, II, 38; illus. Connoisseur, XII, 1905, p 264.

Referenceback to top

Ward & Roberts 1904
‘Portraits of Emma Hart, Lady Hamilton’, H. Ward & W. Roberts, Romney, A Biographical and Critical Essay with a Catalogue Raisonné of his Works, 1904, II, 3g (Lady Hamilton as a Bacchante).

Physical descriptionback to top

Dark brown eyes, rich auburn hair, dressed in white with a darker sash at her waist; on the ledge to the left a book (or mirror) is suggested.

Provenanceback to top

James Green (d. 1834); his son, Benjamin Richard Green, from whom purchased 1870.1

1 Benjamin Green wrote that NPG 294 had been acquired by his family ‘about half a century ago having been purchased by my father at a sale as a portrait of Lady Hamilton by Romney’ (NPG archive). His father was a portrait painter.

Exhibitionsback to top

Angelika Kauffman und ihr Zeitgenossen, Bregenz, Vienna, 1968 (407); Faces as Art, NPG, 1976, Joseph Haydn, Eisenstadt, 1982 (781); Treasures from the National Portrait Gallery, NPG exhibition, Fukushima, Nagoya, Kitakyushu Hiroshima, Tokyo, 1995-96 (17); Muses, Madonnas and Maidens, Tokyo, 2001 (B22).


This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Ingamells, National Portrait Gallery: Mid-Georgian Portraits 1760-1790, National Portrait Gallery, 2004, and is as published then. For the most up-to-date details on individual Collection works, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text.

View all known portraits for Emma (née Lyon), Lady Hamilton

View all known portraits for George Romney

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