Oil on canvas
Euphrosyne : Comus
height (frame): 85cm
width (frame): 72cm
Thomas Harris; Harris sale, Robins 12 July 1819 (22); Charles Mathews
1833 London, Queen's Bazaar, Oxford Street, "Mr Mathews's Gallery of Theatrical Portraits" (7)
1982-3 London, Royal Academy, "Royal Opera House Retrospective, 1732-1982" (131)
The “Morning Herald” 22 March 1794; Patmore p. 273; Hayes 1968
Mrs Martyr, half-length in an attitude of Bacchic revelry, holds a wine glass and a thyrsus. Her high-waisted gown is white, and she wears a billowing flame-coloured bandeau.
The elder Colman's adaptation of Milton's masque, with music by Thomas Arne, was first given at Covent Garden on 16 October 1773. Mrs Martyr played Euphrosyne for the first time at Covent Garden on 19 November 1780. Dupont's picture probably commemorates a performance at Covent Garden on 27 March 1794; an imminent portrait of Mrs Martyr was mentioned in the “Morning Herald” for 22 March 1794. Mrs Martyr's next performance in the role was not until 10 June 1795.
[Dupont's picture seems to allude to the famous studies of Emma, Lady Hamilton, as a Bacchante painted by Romney, Reynolds and others in the 1780s. See Ian Jenkins and Kim Sloan, “Vases and Volcanoes”, exh cat British Museum 1966, pp 266-69]