Miss Elizabeth Phelips, dressed as Diana
Europe, United Kingdom, England
77 x 64.3 cm
Miss Elizabeth Phelips, dressed as Diana about 1770
Thomas Beach 1738-1806
Oil on canvas
The portrayal of women as mythological characters
was a new classical aspect of eighteenth-century art.
The genre served to both flatter the subject
and to elevate her from mundane associations.
Miss Phelips is shown as Diana, the goddess of hunting.
She wears Diana's crescent-moon headdress
and carries her bow and arrows.
The portrait was painted at Montacute House, Somerset,
where several other family members also sat to Beach.
Born in Dorset, he remained based in the south west,
often carrying out commissions at country houses.
Beach was one of the few pupils of Sir Joshua Reynolds.