portrait of a lady c1780 circle of hoppner

Portrait of a Lady c.1780; Circle of Hoppner.



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Oil on canvas in a fine quality and elaborate gilded composition frame.
The sitter wears the new, more relaxed clothing of the time; her hair is powdered grey, a style made 'a la mode' by Georgina, Duchess of Devonshire.
Hoppner developed an individual style that is distinguished by vivacity and a strong feeling of character, here shown in this informal portrait by a Member of his Circle. These works show a deliberate move away from the classicism of Reynolds, towards a more emotionally engaging and naturalistic image. Hoppner’s success is evident by the fact that he became the only serious rival to Lawrence, and with him was responsible for painting the finest Romantic portraits of the Regency period.
With Gainsborough and Reynolds, JOHN HOPPNER (1758 - 1810) was one of the leading portrait painters in late eighteenth-century Britain. He entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1775, where he won a Gold Medal in 1782. His rapid rise was accompanied by rumours (never denied by Hoppner) that he was the illegitimate son of the future King George III, and it is true that in his education and early career Hoppner benefited from a considerable degree of royal sponsorship. He was brought up as a child of the Chapel Royal, tutored in the Royal Library where King George paid great attention to his progress, and finally presented him with an allowance in order that he might establish himself as a painter.
By the late 1780s Hoppner was a regular contributor to the Royal Academy exhibitions and quickly established himself as a fashionable portrait painter. In 1789 he succeeded Reynolds in his appointment as painter to the Prince of Wales in 1789, many of whose circle he painted.
SIZE: 37 x 31 x 1.75 inches including frame.
PROVENANCE: Sussex Private Collection.
VERSO: an old label dated 1911, numbering the painting No.8 in an insurance schedule.
Internal Ref: 8954


Height = 94 cm (37")
Width = 79 cm (31")
Depth = 4 cm (2")

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