The canvas as her stage: Emma Hamilton's use of her attitudes in portraiture
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] This thesis examines how the portraiture and life of Emma, Lady Hamilton are representative of trends and interests of the eighteenth-century art world. Lady Emma Hamilton was the eighteenth-century equivalent of a modern-day celebrity. Renowned for her good looks, she was the talk of European society for her beauty, her pantomime performance (which she called her Attitudes), and her relationships with men. Nearly two hundred years after her death, she is still a topic of interest both scholarly and popular. Two paintings of Emma in the University of Missouri's collection are significant examples of portraits of Emma in her prime. In researching Emma's portraits and how the Columbia portraits compare with others made at the same time, something becomes apparent in the source materials. While there is much interest in Emma's life and her affairs with men, literature on images of her or her performances is not as abundant and is often very brief. Moreover, the various texts discussing Emma are usually concerned only with her portraits, her performances, or her men, with very little discussion, if any, given to how these aspects of her life were interconnected. This thesis looks at these three main facets of her life - her men, her portraits, and her Attitudes - in addition to the major influences of the art world at the time, and demonstrates how they are interrelated; all of them are considered to properly see how Emma became Lady Hamilton and was representative of the interests of the eighteenth-century art world.
Access is limited to the campus of the University of Missouri--Columbia.