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This portrait was probably commissioned to celebrate the marriage of Catherine Moore to Charles Warwick Bampfylde in 1776. Lady Bampfylde's pose is a witty adaptation of the famous classical statue, the Venus de' Medici (illustrated to the left) then regarded as the embodiment of female beauty. In the classical statue the goddess's hands are positioned over her breasts and genitalia, simultaneously emphasising her modesty and her sexual potency. Here Reynolds has slightly lowered the left arm, while the right arm, gesturing towards the white lilies, casts an artful shadow across the area of the figure's lower torso.

Details

  • Title: Lady Bampfylde
  • Creator: Sir Joshua Reynolds
  • Date Created: Around 1776
  • Provenance: Bequeathed by Alfred de Rothschild 1918
  • Physical Dimensions: w148 x h2381 mm
  • Original Title: Lady Bampfylde
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

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