Portrait of Emily St. Clare as a Bacchante
In this portrait, Emily St. Clare invites the viewer into the world of a bacchante, or follower of Bacchus, the Roman god of wine. Intoxicated by her beauty, St. Clare was the mistress of Sir John Fleming Leicester, who commissioned this and at least 13 other portraits of her from fashionable British artists. John Hoppner was known for his restrained, formal portraits. Here, however, in striving to fulfill Leicester’s desires, Hoppner conveyed St. Clare’s youthfulness and exuberance through dynamic brushwork, flowing draperies, and an alluring smile.