Lady Hamilton as Bacchante

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Lady Hamilton as a Bacchante

This portrait by is one of several by Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun, who wrote, “Nothing, indeed, was more remarkable than the ease Lady Hamilton acquired in spontaneously giving her features an expression of sorrow or of joy, and of posing marvelously to represent different people. Her eyes a-kindle, her hair flying, she showed you a bewitching bacchante; then, all of a sudden, her face expressed grief, and you saw a magnificent repentant Magdalen…. She had a great quantity of fine chestnut hair, sufficient to cover her entirely, and thus, as a bacchante with flying hair, she was admirable to behold.”

Image: © Lady Lever Art Gallery, National Museums Liverpool

 

Quote: From Chapter Five of The Memoirs of Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun.