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Beauty
January 2000

Lady Hamilton as "Nature"

Author Affiliations

Institute of Fine Arts
New York University
New York, NY

 

Institute of Fine Arts
 New York University
 New York, NY


Arch Facial Plast Surg. 2000;2(1):84-85. doi:

GEORGE ROMNEY was born the son of a cabinetmaker in Dalton-in-Furness, England, in 1734. He was apprenticed to Christopher Steele, an itinerant portraitist who had once studied under the French master Jean Baptiste Van Loo. Steele proved an unreliable master, however, and abandoned the young Romney before his 4-year apprenticeship was completed. Romney married Mary Abbot in 1756 and enjoyed moderate success as a portraitist in Kendal. Hoping to attract more fashionable and aristocratic patrons, Romney made the decisive move to London in 1762, leaving his wife behind in Kendal. However, in London he had considerable competition from the 3 leading English portraitists of the day: Thomas Gainsborough, Scott Allan Ramsay, and Sir Joshua Reynolds. Reynolds, in particular, jealously guarded his position as chief painter of London society, referring to the upstart Romney only as "the man from Cavendish Square." As a result of this mutual animosity, Reynolds prevented Romney from ever exhibiting his works at the Royal Academy, of which he was president. Article

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