Display caption

In this portrait of Lady Charlotte Talbot, Reynolds returns to a successful formula, in which he depicted aristocratic women making offerings to the classical gods. Dressed in a robe inspired by Grecian dress, Lady Talbot pours oil onto a sacrificial fire before a statue of Minerva, thus claiming for herself the goddess’s attributes of wisdom, learning and knowledge of the arts. At the same time, she displays the conventional characteristics of the painted beauty and was duly engraved by the mezzotinter Valentine Green as part of his A Series of Beauties of the Present Age based on Reynolds’s paintings.

October 2013