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Tommaso Piroli (1752–1824) after Friedrich Rehberg (1758–1835)

Emma, Lady Hamilton's Attitudes, Plate VIII 1794

RCIN 655746

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Emma, Lady Hamilton performed her classically-inspired 'attitudes' from 1787 to audiences of invited guests in Naples, where her husband Sir William was British Envoy. In 1794 the attitudes were the subject of a set of engravings by Tommaso Piroli, here printed on ochre prepared paper to echo the Greek vase paintings on which Lady Hamilton based her act. Piroli’s prints (and implicitly Lady Hamilton, by then resident back in London) were mocked by James Gillray in an 1807 series showing the renowned beauty as an ungainly frump. Both sets were purchased by the future George IV, the Pirolis from Colnaghi in 1816, the satires from Hannah Humphrey on publication in 1807.

Purchased by the Prince Regent (later George IV) from Colnaghi & Co. on 15 April 1816 for 7s 6d (for the set).