Pencil/charcoal on paper, c.1796
We know nothing at all about Harriett Todd other than that her depiction of the salacious tale of an unwilling initiation into Bacchanalian ceremonies reveals her interest in ‘history painting’ and admiration of Angelica Kauffman’s work.
Kauffman was an Austrian painter, one of two female founding members of the Royal Academy, who specialised in classical and mythological scenes from the 1760s to 1790s.
Written on the back of work 66 is –
Posthumius, the young Consul of Rome, seated on a dias, Sulpicia his mother in law by his side gesturing Ispola, a Roman courtesan about the mysteries of the Bacchanalian Festival and nocturnal ceremonies, which she is …illegible… on promise of pardon and safety to herself, she is hesitating through shame and fear whether she will comply.
The Museum would be pleased to hear any information you may have about Harriett Todd.