Iphigenia. A Celebrated Dutchess in that Character, as she appeared at a Masqued Ball June the 3d. 1749. Price 6d
Engraving, 18th century watermarked paper; sheet 330 x 235mm (13 x 9¼"). Trimmed inside platemark on three sides; crease through centre. Text cut and pasted on. Very rare.
One of several similar satirical representations of Elizabeth Chudleigh (c.1720-88) as she is alleged to have appeared at the Venetian Ambassador's Masquerade on May 1 1749. As T.A.B. Corley describes the event (Oxford DNB): 'she wore a smile, some foliage rather low round her middle, and a covering of the flimsiest flesh-coloured gauze. Princess Augusta reacted to this audacious impression of nakedness by throwing her veil over Elizabeth. The infatuated George II asked if he could place his hand on her bare breasts; with great presence of mind, she offered to put it on a still softer place and guided it to the royal forehead. Far from taking offence, the king gave her a 35 guinea watch and made her mother a housekeeper at Windsor. The prints, rushed out to gratify the public's lubricious curiosity, show her to have been well built, with a comely face.' Horace Walpole, in a letter written on May 3, wrote 'Miss Chudleigh was Iphigenia, but so naked that you would have taken her for Andromeda'. A few days later Mrs Montagu wrote to her sister 'she [Chudleigh] was Iphigenia for the sacrifice, but so naked the high priest might easily inspect the entrails of the victim.' The pasted-on text is different from that in the titles of the similar prints listed in BM Satires. Despite having already married, Chudleigh later bigamously married the duke of Kingston. She later traveled to St Petersburg, where she bought an estate which she named Chudleigh, and set up a vodka distillery. She then moved to Paris and purchased a mansion at Montmartre and a 300-bedroomed estate at St Assise, just outside Paris.
Not in BM Satires (but see nos. 3030-3033); for another famous appearance by Chudleigh see ref. 8113.
[Ref: 37647] £180.00