REYNOLDS, Sir Joshua
(b. 1723, Plympton Earl, d. 1792, London)

Mrs. Musters as Hebe

Oil on canvas, 239 x 144,8 cm
Iveagh Bequest, Kenwood House, London

Tendencies to use the mobile brushwork of Baroque painting for narrative purpose were apparent in England. Reynolds put the sublimity of Antiquity into portraiture in an early stage. Sophia Heywood, or Mrs. Musters (1758-1819), was then renowned for her beauty, and she is depicted as Hebe, that is the handmaid of the gods, filling the bowl for Jupiter. Both her pose and the proportions recall Guido Reni's Aurora, while the colours are reminiscent of Guercino.

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