portrait of an east india company officer c1780 by nathaniel hone ra

Portrait of an East India Company officer c.1780, by Nathaniel Hone R.A.



Item Ref



Oil on canvas in a reproduction frame of correct type.
The East India Company (EIC), also known as the Honourable East India Company or the British East India Company and informally as John Company, was an English and later British joint-stock company, which was formed to pursue trade with the East Indies but ended up trading mainly with the Indian subcontinent and Qing China.
Originally chartered as the "Governor and Company of Merchants of London trading into the East Indies", the company rose to account for half of the world's trade, particularly in basic commodities including cotton, silk, indigo dye, salt, saltpetre, tea and opium. The company also ruled the beginnings of the British Empire in India.
The company received a Royal Charter from Queen Elizabeth I on 31 December 1600, making it the oldest among several similarly formed European East India Companies. Wealthy merchants and aristocrats owned the Company's shares. The government owned no shares and had only indirect control.
The company eventually came to rule large areas of India with its own private armies, exercising military power and assuming administrative functions. Company rule in India effectively began in 1757 after the Battle of Plassey and lasted until 1858 when, following the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the Government of India Act 1858 led to the British Crown assuming direct control of India in the form of the new British Raj.
NATHANIEL HONE R.A. (1718-1784)
Nathaniel Hone was born in Ireland, and, it seems, was essentially self-taught. Seeking his fortune, he soon travelled to England to work as an itinerant painter. In the 1740s, after a wealthy marriage, he was able to settle in London, and there formed a large and prestigious clientele. Patrons included the Earl of Bute, Edmund Burke, and Frederick, Prince of Wales. In 1768 Hone was one of a number of artists who left the Society of Artists of Great Britain to found the new Royal Academy, of which he was one of two Irish founding members.
But Hone, who seems by nature to have been something of a rebel, soon fell out with his fellow academicians, in particular the President, Sir Joshua Reynolds. Hone’s large 1775 subject-picture, ‘The Conjuror’, was a direct attack on Reynolds’ reliance, as Hone saw it, on Italian compositions by the Old Masters. What Reynolds saw as a revival of the Grand Manner, Hone saw simply as plagiarism. Hone’s picture was rejected, not least because it also alluded to Reynolds’ alleged relationship with Angelica Kauffman, and he ceased exhibiting at the RA. Thereafter, Hone became the pioneer of the one man show, and began exhibiting his own works at independent shows in London, often to great acclaim.
SIZE: 39.5 x 34 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: Formerly with Indar Pasricha.
Verso: old Christie's stencil.
Internal Ref: 8979


Height = 100 cm (40")
Width = 86 cm (34")
Depth = 7 cm (3")

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