Studies for `Viscountess Bulkeley as Hebe'
Guy Peppiatt Fine Art Ltd
Anonymous sale Christie's, 6th June 1972, lot 90;
With Thos. Agnew & Sons (no.28749);
Private collection, UK
Romney chose to depict the sitter as Hebe, cupbearer to the gods and goddess of youthful beauty, a popular allegorical identity for young women of the period. However, the freedom of handling, the dramatic pose and sublime surroundings depict the subject in a very different manner and mark a watershed in Romney's stylistic development, following his return from three years in Italy and demonstrate the influence of artists such as Henry Fuseli, whom he met there.
There are several other preparatory sketches including a related study, showing a single figure in a similar pose to the present drawing, in the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, and another in the Morgan Library, New York.