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    Hugh Douglas Hamilton
    Triple portrait of Emma, Lady Hamilton (1765–1815), as the three Muses (£400,000-600,000). UPDATE: THIS MADE £500,000 AT HAMMER

    This triple portrait by the Dublin artist Hugh Douglas Hamilton of Emma, Lady Hamilton, as the Three Muses comes up at Sotheby’s Old Master’s evening sale in London on July 7. A celebrated model, entertainer and artist’s muse; famous for her ‘Attitudes’ and her creative collaboration with international artists, particularly George Romney; her marriage to the great diplomat, antiquarian and collector Sir William Hamilton, British Envoy to Naples; and her relationship with Admiral Lord Nelson, the ‘Nation’s Hero’; Emma, Lady Hamilton was a cultural icon and European celebrity in the early nineteenth century. Born Amy Lyon, the daughter of a blacksmith from Cheshire, and later changing her name to Emma Hart, the young girl who was to become Lady Hamilton began her ascent as an actresses’ maid at the Drury Lane Theatre. 

    The auction includes an impressive group of early Netherlandish paintings from a Spanish private collection; masterpieces by some of the finest artists of the late 16th and 17th centuries, such as Jan Brueghel the Elder, Balthasar van der Ast and Ambrosius Bosschaert and a particularly strong offering of British works from private collections, many fresh to the market.

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