- Museum number
- Object: The Genius of History, or dressing for a masked ball at Naples
The Princess of Wales, squat and fat, wearing a short transparent dress, adjusts her hair at a large glass above a console table on which lies her black mask. Bergami stands beside her, holding a scarf and a box of 'Essence Bergamy'; he wears orders (see No. 13810, &c.). She asks: "Comment me trouves tu Mon cour" [sic]? He answers: "Je t'aime mieux comme" / "cela, mon Ange". Through a window reaching to the floor (right) is seen Vesuvius.
- Production date
Height: 232 millimetres
Width: 245 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', X, 1952)
According to Demont (see No. 13856), the Princess at a masked ball went in three different costumes, changing her dress attended by Bergami. After being a Neapolitan peasant she was the Genius of History, with arms and breasts bare, 'the drapery ... as people represent the Muses . . .'. 'Parl. Deb.', N.S. ii. 1117 (30 Aug.). The signature probably indicates the Turkish dress worn by Bergami, the Princess's third costume being that of a Turkish peasant. Another witness gave evidence that they conversed in French, the words 'mon cœur' being heard (ibid., p. 1100). See Nos. 13731, 13924, 14013, 14129.
Cf. De Vinck, No. 10435, 'The Modern Genius of History at her Toilet', the same subject, imprint: 'London Pubd by G. Humphrey 27 St James's St May 20 1821.' (8 11/16 x 7 5/8 in.)
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
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