George Romney was a British painter who was one of the leading society portraitists of the 18th Century. Romney was a prolific painter and produced about 2,000 paintings and 5,000 drawings during his lifetime.
Romney studied art as an apprentice to Christopher Steele, whose clean, neat style can be seen in Romney’s early works. Romney left his wife and children in the north of England to pursue a career in London. He was reasonably successful in London, but then embarked on a grand tour of France and Italy to study the Old Masters. His painting style matured in this time and his skills were much in demand when he returned to London.
Romney became obsessed with the beauty of Emma Hart, the mistress of Sir William Hamilton. He painted her in various poses and used her as a model for a number of his historical and Shakespearean paintings. At the end of his life, in failing health, Romney returned to his wife in the north of England after an absence of almost 40 years. She nursed him until he died.
Famous works include Lady Hamilton As Nature, and Major General Sir Archibald Campbell.