The sitter was the daughter of Thomas Haskett of Alton Pancras, Dorset. She married in 1766 Poole Bathurst (c.1735-1794), son of Benjamin Bathurst of Lydney Park, Gloucestershire, and nephew of 1st Earl Bathurst.
William Hoare was a celebrated 18th century portraitist based predominantly in Bath. He is most commonly known for his works in pastel but undertook a number of commissions in oil. Nominated personally by King George III for membership of the Royal Academy he exhibited there from 1770 until 1779. His contributions included more paintings than pastels, a fact that has been suggested is an indication he regarded oils as more suited to public exhibition.
This portrait displays stylistic touches that are deeply reminiscent of his pastel technique, particularly the sketchy quality around the lace contrasting with the distinct clarity of the well poised head. Almost certainly this would have been commissioned from Hoare at the time of Ann Haskett’s marriage to Poole Bathurst in 1766, and therefore it is likely that there would have been a pendant portrait of him. She is fashionably attired in the “Van Dyke” dress popular in mid eighteenth century England with the portrait as a whole being presented in a notable carved gilt frame of the period. Hoare would have been a natural choice of artist for Poole to turn to as he also undertook several other portraits of the Bathurst family, mainly his nieces, the daughters of the 1st Earl Bathurst.