25 Sept-17 Jan. Entitled Eros e Attitude, this exhibition tells the fascinating tale of British dancer, singer, muse and femme fatale Lady Hamilton (1765-1815) on the 250th anniversary of her birth.
The exhibition is described as a "special story of female emancipation", examining the life and career of the influential Lady Hamilton in the context of her time, with a particular focus on her years in Italy.
After a lowly and difficult start in life, the young Amy Lyon came to the attention of leading portrait painter George Romney who was captivated by her beauty and painted her in many guises. In 1786 she arrived in Naples where she became the mistress and later wife of Sir William Hamilton, British ambassador, scholar and collector of antiquities.
It was here that the now-christened Lady Emma Hamilton became famous all over Europe thanks to her "attitudes", a type of sensual dance or performance art inspired by classical models. She wowed painters, writers and composers of the day, including Goethe.
However, when her affair with Lord Nelson became public, Lady Hamilton's life fell to pieces. She returned to England and, after Nelson was killed in the Battle of Trafalgar, she lost her fortune and was imprisoned due to her debts, later fleeing her creditors to Calais in France.
There she turned to drink, dying aged 49 of amoebic dysentery.