The Society Beauty

Sophia Catherine Musters was a noted society beauty and here Sir Joshua Reynolds has portrayed her, at the age of 24, as Hebe. The latter was the Goddess of Youth and cupbearer of Mountain Olympus.

This rather daring portrait at Kenwood House replaces an previous one which was given to the Prince of Wales, later George IV and rumoured to be her lover. This earlier portrait was a fairly conventional depiction of a young bride.

Perhaps her husband was a little jealous and wanted to go one better with this portrayal?

We love the drama of this subject, the depth of the colours and swirling movement around her shoulders.