Lawrence Alma-Tadema was invited to put on a solo show at the Grosvenor Gallery in 1882, where he received praise for his precise portrayal of archaeological artefacts but was criticised for his lifeless and soulless figures. He may well have painted this portrait and exhibited it at the Royal Academy in 1883 in response to these criticisms. Lady Stanhope, only daughter of the 4th Earl of Stanhope, was widely regarded as the most beautiful woman at court at the time of Queen Victoria’s accession in 1837. She served as a Maid of Honour at Victoria’s coronation and as a bridesmaid at her wedding to Prince Albert. In July 1843 she met Archibald Primrose, Lord Dalmeny, at a ball at Buckingham Palace and they were married three months later. Following Lord Dalmeny's death in 1850, she married Sir Harry George Vane Powlett, 4th Duke of Cleveland, in 1854.
Where to see this painting?
The Bowes Museum
Barnard Castle, County Durham, England, DL12 8NP
If you are planning a visit to see this painting, check with the collection first. Paintings can be moved at short notice.