portrait of thomas wright 1739 by john theodore heins

Portrait of Thomas Wright 1739: by John Theodore Heins.


Price

SOLD

Item Number

8711

Description

Oil on canvas in a fine quality carved and giltwood frame.
In 1949 Christie's stated that the portrait was signed and dated 1739, lower left, and in the entries in the two reference books mentioned below the same statement is made, and again stated in an old handwritten label verso. However, now only some faint marks can be seen.
This excellent portrait is typical of the best work of Heins. The sitter, Thomas Wright of Wighton, Norfolk, looks confidently out at the viewer, his tricorne hat held as if just removed to courteously greet us....the very model of a fashionably and expensively dressed gentleman of the early Georgian era.
There is an elegant swagger to the pose, but no bluster; a gracious dignity was paramount at this time. Even so, Thomas has taken care to sweep back his coat to display the large quantities of silver lace on his silk waistcoat. His silver hilted sword, the mark of a gentleman, is also on discreet display.
Thomas married Anne, the daughter of the Reverend William Wilson, Rector of Stiffkey. Their daughter Anne married Captain Thomas Lee Warner of Walsingham.
Thomas Wright died in 1762, 23 years after Heins painted this portrait. His death was announced in 'The London Magazine, or, Gentleman's Monthly Intellegencer'.
JOHN THEODORE HEINS (1697-1756), also known as Dietrich or Dirk, was born in Germany. He settled in Norwich (at that time a city second in importance only to London) in 1720.
He made a good living painting the local prosperous merchants and gentry and was accepted into their social circle. His style was influenced by that of Thomas Hudson.
Many of his finer works were commissioned by the Astley family of Melton Constable.
Heins died in Norich and his will was proved 30 August 1756 by his widow, Abigail.
His son, also called John Theodore Heins was also a portraitist but lacked his father's talent.
Heins senior's work is in Norwich Castle Museum, Felbrigg Hall (National Trust), the National Portrait Gallery, Cambridge University and others.
SIZE: canvas 50 x 40 inches.
PROVENANCE: *Sold: Christie's, London 7 October 1949.
*The Collection of a Titled Lady, East Sussex.
*Collection of a Fellow of a Cambridge college.
*A photograph of this portrait appears on page 167 of 'The Dictionary of British 18th Century Painters' by Ellis Waterhouse, and also on page 242 of 'The Dictionary of Portrait Painters in Britain up to 1920' by Brian Stewart and Mervyn Cutten. See Image 5.
VERSO: old handwritten label: "Thomas Wright, Wighton, Norfolk. M. Anne dau. of Revd. Wm. Wilson, Rector of Stiffkey. Their daughter Anne married Capt. Thomas Lee Warner of Walsingham.
by Heins. signed."
Internal Ref: 8711



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