The oil on canvas painting depicts Lady Bampfylde dressed in an elegant white dress. Her hair is worn high. Her left arm rests against a pedestal, in front of which is a white lily. Various flowers are scattered on the ground in front of her. The floral motif continues with the pansy placed between her cleavage, along with a string of pearls. Lady Bampfylde's posture is particularly interesting. Reynolds appears to have requested her to adapt the pose of the famous Greek sculpture the Venus de Medici, for the portrait, particularly in the positioning of the hands and arms. Unlike the sculpture, Lady Bampfylde is fully-clothed, yet she appears to be attempting to cover her modesty.
While Reynolds' portrait depicts Lady Bampfylde posing as the goddess of love, in reality, her marriage was not idyllic. Her husband wasted the majority of his fortune during the early years of their marriage, while there were rumours of Lady Bampfyldes unfaithfulness during the same time. The union does not appear to have been a happy one and, unsurprisingly, within ten years of the portrait being completed, the couple had separated. In 1823 Charles Bampfylde was murdered, by a former servant, and nine years later Lady Bampfylde died. The painting currently resides in the Tate Gallery in London. It was bequeathed to the gallery in 1918 by Alfred de Rothschild.
The English artist Joshua Reynolds was born on 16 July 1723. He specialised in portrait painting and was considered to be one of the most important artists of the 18th century. He played a pivotal role in establishing the Royal Academy of Arts and was elected as their first president. His influence on the art world was recognised with a knighthood in 1769. He died on 23 February 1792.