portrait of a gentleman c1740 by john theodore heins

Portrait of a Gentleman c.1740; by John Theodore Heins.



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Oil on canvas in a fine carved and giltwood 18th century frame.
The sitter is almost certainly a member of the wealthy mercantile or professional classes of Norwich and surrounding area; Heins was their chosen artist, he made a good living and had been accepted into their social circle. His style was influenced by that of Thomas Hudson, and is a frank and honest representation of the sitter, their character astutely observed and depicted.
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. As well as his portraits of merchants and professional men, in 1732 he was commissioned to execute the first of a number of portraits of Norwich civic dignitaries which can now be seen at Saint Andrew's Hall in the city. He monopolised civic portraiture in Norwich until 1746, when Thomas Bardwell was commissioned by the city's artillery company to paint a portrait of William Crowe, who became mayor the following year.
Heins painted two portraits of the Hanoverian composer and emigre to England, Handel.
Many of his finer works were commissioned by the Astley family of Melton Constable, including one of a Musical Party, and a double portrait of Edward and Blanche Astley, the children of Sir Jacob Astley, 3rd Bt. (1692 1760).
In October 1745, the Gentleman's Magazine published a poem called "Lines on seeing some portraits of the celebrated Mr. Heyns of Norwich".
Heins died in Norwich 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: 37.75 x 32.50 inches including the frame.
PROVENANCE: Private Collection, Buckinhamshire, deceased estate.
Internal Ref: 9082


Height = 96 cm (38")
Width = 82 cm (32")
Depth = 6 cm (3")

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