The National Gallery have announced their rediscovery of a portrait of Elizabeth Carter in a private collection. The painting, done by John Fayram circa 1735-1741, shows Carter as the Roman Goddess Minerva (or the Greek Goddess Athena, if you prefer), goddess of wisdom and war. The portrait will be part of of an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery called Brilliant Women: 18th Century Bluestockings, which is running from 13 March to 15 June.
It is apropos that Carter be included since she was a member of the Bluestocking Society (a group of intellectual women who met during the latter half of the 18th century), and was herself a pretty righteous babe. Not only a poet, she apparently was also a translator who spoke Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Arabic, and a few other standard modern Euro languages. Rumour has it she also made a pretty wicked pudding.
Painting of a hoary Elizabeth Carter by Sir Thomas Lawrence, courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery.