Emma Hart, Lady Hamilton as Calypso (c1765-1815)

Mrs Smith as a Wood Nymph

On display in:

Baron's Room

Order image © All images subject to copyright

Artist or maker

Romney, George (b.1734, d.1802)



dated stylistically

Place of production

  • England, United Kingdom


  • oil on canvas

Type of object

  • paintings

Accession number


Full-length portrait of a reclining Emma Hart looking over her shoulder. Emma wears a simple red dress with blue sash and sandals, with her left arm and shoulder bare. Her hair is tied back in a wide ribbon. She holds a pipe towards her neck as she turns her head to look at the viewer. She smiles showing her teeth. She leans against a rock set in a woody glade. Sky, a hill and a wide river with a waterfall are visible in the left background.

Physical description

Dimensions (mm) / weight (mg)

Approx 1200 x 1500 - sight

Signature & date

not signed or dated



  • Painted along with 'Lady Hamilton as a Tragic Muse' for £200, for the Prince of Wales ( b.1760, d.1830) in 1791-1792; given by the Prince of Wales to his friend Francis Ingram-Seymour-Conway, 2nd Marquess of Hertford (b.1743, d.1822); by descent to Richard Seymour-Conway, 4th Marquess of Hertford (b.1800, d.1870); by descent to his cousin Francis Seymour, 5th Marquess of Hertford (b.1812, d.1884); sold, Christie's London, 1 May 1875; bought by Agnew's at the sale Christie's London, 1 May 1875 for 310 guineas; possibly sold by Agnew's to (but perhaps to Canon Phillpotts) Edmund Crompton Potter (b.1802, d.1883); acquired by (probably from Agnew's, though perhaps from Edmund Potter) by Canon Thomas Phillpotts in Cornwall (active Circa 1840-1885) reputedly for £30; sold by Canon Thomas Phillpotts to Agnew 28 February 1882; bought from Agnew's by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild (b.1839, d.1898) 28 February 1882 for £2,310, stock no 2270; inherited by his sister Alice de Rothschild (b.1847, d.1922); inherited by her great-nephew James de Rothschild (b.1878, d.1957); bequeathed to Waddesdon The Rothschild Collection (The National Trust) in 1957.

Exhibition history

  • Royal Academy Exhibition, January 1882, London, no. 247, lent by Rev. Canon Thomas Phillpotts


  • Waddesdon (National Trust)
  • Bequest of James de Rothschild, 1957


  • Reverend John Romney; Memoirs of the Life and Works of George Romney; London; Baldwin and Cradock; 1830; pp. 181-182
  • Humphry Ward, William Roberts; Romney: a biographical and critical essay, with a catalogue raisonné of his works; 2 vols; London; Thomas Agnew & Sons Ltd.; 1904; vol. 2, p. 182; wrongly identifies the Phillpotts picture with their no. 8a, 'Lady Hamilton as The Comic Muse'
  • Ellis Waterhouse, Anthony Blunt; Paintings: The James A. de Rothschild Collection at Waddesdon Manor; Fribourg; Office du Livre, The National Trust; 1967; pp. 97-98, cat. no. 37, ill.; as 1791-1792
  • Barry E Maclean-Eltham; George Romney: paintings in public collections; Kendal; Romney Society; 1996; p. 33; as Calypso
  • David A Cross; A Striking Likeness: The Life of George Romney; Aldershot; Ashgate Publishing; 2000; pp. 124, 161, 177; as Calypso
  • Alex Kidson, Lady Hamilton as the Comic Muse, Transactions of the Romney Society, 18, 2013, 25-30; pp. 25-30, fig. 3.; with provenance and identification.
  • Alex Kidson; George Romney: A Complete Catalogue of his Paintings; 3; New Haven, London; The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, Yale University Press; 2015; vo. 3, pp. 674-675, cat. no. 1487
Other details

Subject person

  • Lady Emma Hamilton, Sitter