By way of contrast to his formal portraiture, William Hoare executed numerous delightful and informal drawings of his family which are loosely executed on small sheets of paper and often in red chalk and pencil. It is not known when this drawing was acquired by Sir Henry Duff Gordon (1866-1953) but this provenance was clearly noted by the art dealer John Appleby who appears to have acquired a batch of loose sketches from a relative of the family.
Hoare was one of the most fashionable portraitists of the day and a founding member of the Royal Academy, with his contemporaries Sir Joshua Reynolds and Thomas Gainsborough. He studied firstly in London under Guiseppe Grisoni (1699-1769) and then in Rome, under the tutelage of Francesco ‘Imperiali’ Ferdinandi (1769-1740). Returning to London in 1737, he finally settled in Bath in 1738, where he remained the leading portraitist until the arrival of Thomas Gainsborough in 1759. During this time, he obtained numerous commissions from some of the leading social and political figures of the day, including George Frederic Handel, Robert Walpole and William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham.
Exhibited: Mallett, New York – ‘Girls Indoors’: An Exhibition of European 18th century Drawings, March 2011