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Master Paintings

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 24. Emma, Lady Hamilton, as a bacchante, dancing on a heath.

Circle of George Romney

Emma, Lady Hamilton, as a bacchante, dancing on a heath

Lot Closed

October 21, 04:24 PM GMT


12,000 - 18,000 USD

Lot Details


Circle of George Romney

Emma, Lady Hamilton, as a bacchante, dancing on a heath

oil on canvas

canvas: 56¼ by 45⅛ in.; 142.9 by 114.6 cm.

framed: 69¼ by 57⅞ in.; 175.9 by 147 cm.

Thomas William Anson (1795-1854), 1st Earl of Lichfield;

Thomas Challinor;

By whom anonymously sold, London, Christie's, 10 July 1897, lot 21 (as G. Romney), to Agnew, for 1,900 gns;

With Thos. Agnew & Sons, London;

Charles J. Wertheimer (1842-1911);

E.G. Raphael, Esq.;

With Duveen, before 1926 and until at least 1940;

Norton Simon Foundation;

By whom sold, London, Sotheby's, 27 June 1973, lot 16 (as George Romney, and with incorrect early provenance);

There acquired by R. Jacob;

Anonymous sale, London, Christie's, 26 June 1981, lot 130 (as George Romney, and with incorrect early provenance);

Private collection, New Jersey, until 1991;

Acquired by the present owner, 1991.  

T. H. Ward & W. Roberts, Romney: A Biographical and Critical Essay with a Catalogue Raisonné of his Works, vol. II, 1904, p. 181, version f;

A. Chamberlain, George Romney, London 1910, p. 314;

J. Frankau, The Story of Emma, Lady Hamilton, London 1911, vol. 2, p. 95;

J. Watson, The Paintings of Emma Hart (Lady Hamilton) by George Romney: A Study of their Significance in Relation to his Historical Works, M.A. Thesis, Oberlin College, 1974, appendix nos. 23b, 23e (these two entries, according to Kidson, refer to the same canvas);

A. Kidson, George Romney: A Complete Catalogue of His Paintings, New Haven and London 2015, vol. III, p. 673, cat. no. 1486a, reproduced (as a good quality replica, possibly by Romney).

Renowned internationally for her beauty and classical features, Emma Hamilton served as a popular model for artists, foremost among them being George Romney, who painted over seventy portraits of her over a nine-year period. These portraits, some of which combined classical poses with modern allure, helped form the basis of Emma's famous Attitudes, soundless performances that could be likened to a form of tableaux-vivants.  

The prime version of this composition, which shows Emma as a bacchante dancing on a heath, was painted by George Romney in about 1791. It was acquired from Romney by John Christian Curwen, later passed through the collection of Oscar B. Cintas, and is today in a private collection, Sweden.1  The present canvas, which is of slightly smaller dimensions, faithfully follows the original, differing primarily in the rendering of the details of the sky.  

1. Kidson 2015, p. 672, cat. no. 1486, reproduced.