In this week’s episode of “Cocktails with a Curator,” Curator Aimee Ng explores the history behind Sir Thomas Lawrence’s celebrated portrait of Julia, Lady Peel. When it was shown at the Royal Academy, in 1827, this painting was hailed as Sir Thomas’s greatest portrait—and one of the great works of modern art at the time.
It’s easy to see why: the sitter projects authority, confidence, and ease despite her flamboyant, over-the-top outfit. Sir Thomas’s depiction of Lady Peel is closely related to Peter Paul Rubens’s famous “Chapeau de Paille,” which had recently entered the collection of her husband, Sir Robert Peel. In recognition of the lavish bracelets and rings worn by the sitter, this week’s complementary cocktail is the Bijou (French for “jewel”).
To view this painting in detail, please visit our website: https://www.frick.org/ladypeel