Monday Morning Muse: Sarah Hickman Amherst

This stunning portrait of Sarah Hickman Amherst by British artist Thomas Lawrence joined the collection in 1967.

2008_EX02_01 006Scholars of British art acclaim this accomplished portrait for its breathtaking skill, in which rapid strokes of creamy oil paint capture a seemingly living likeness of Sarah, Countess of Amherst (1762–1838), during her marriage to her second husband, William Pitt Amherst, the nephew and heir of Lord Jeffery Amherst, for whom the town of Amherst, Massachusetts, and (indirectly) Amherst College are named.

An avid naturalist, Lady Amherst would identify certain flowering trees and a variety of pheasant (Chrysolophus amherstiae) that bear her name.

image source: Sarah Hickman Amherst, 1st Countess Amherst

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