The story of Emma Hamilton is one of female power and achievement in a man’s world, against all odds. Born into poverty in 1765, she rose to be a muse for famous artists, an influential ambassador’s wife, a European cultural icon and Lord Nelson’s mistress – before facing prison and dying in destitution.

The exhibition designers Hara Clark’s brief to DALD was for the lighting to create a series of meandering transitional scenes throughout Emma Hamilton’s life that would add a sensitive yet theatrical approach to the exhibition, as well as adhering to the strict conservation constraints. 

Images: Nick Wood for National Maritime Museum