Lady Hamilton as a Bacchante
Vigée-Lebrun was a French court painter, and a favourite of Marie Antoinette. Forced to flee after the French Revolution, she came to England in the early C19th.
Here she paints Emma Hamilton, Admiral Nelson’s mistress, whose party trick was to imitate the dress and poses of older classical paintings. Here she is pretending to be bacchante, a follower of the Roman god of wine, Bacchus.
Is this portrait an original or bogus?