Sir William Hamilton, British Envoy in Naples from 1764, and his wife, Catherine Barlow, are seen here in the room off the terrace in their summer villa in Posillipo, surrounded by many of Sir William’s favourite items: his violin, a classical bust of Zeus and a small-scale copy of his favourite painting, Correggio’s Venus Disarming Cupid. The view of Vesuvius is a reference to Sir William’s passion for vulcanology and he frequently accompanied tourists to view the eruptions. He greatly admired Scottish artist Allan, whom he met in Naples, describing him as one of the greatest geniuses he had ever known.
David Allen Sir William and the first Lady Hamilton in their villa in Naples 1770 © Compton Verney
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