Nathaniel Hone the Elder (1718-1784, Irish)
Items Similar to Portrait of a young boy dressed in a brown coat with a blue waistcoatView More
This is a particularly engaging example of child portraiture, the genre in which Hone excelled. Born in Dublin in 1718, little is known of his training, though his early pastels suggest that he may have studied with Robert West, when he was still running a private academy, prior to it being taken over by the Dublin Society. Hone moved to England at an early age and worked primarily as a painter of miniatures. In 1742 he married an heiress, Mary Earl, at York Minister. Pasquin, clearly a biased witness, with something of a vendetta against the artist, gives a hostile account of Hone’s evident affinity with children, telling how he would lodge at the best in a town and having asked to dine with the family, would lavish praise on their children before offering to paint them: ‘the portmanteau was unpacked, the operations began; while the fond and partial parents hung in rapture over his shoulder….Thus he made his establishment secure, and gave general satisfaction, by offending truth and outraging taste; making the children as angels, the mother as a Venus, and the husband a well-fed Job, in a brown periwig’. Hone was appointed one of the directors of the Society of Incorporated Artists in 1766 but resigned two years later to be become a founding member of the Royal Academy. He exhibited his charming The Piping Boy – a portrait of his son Camillus – (National Gallery of Ireland) in the Academy’s first exhibition and sent a total of sixty-nine works to their annual shows. However, as is well known, Hone, sometimes a difficult man, fell out with his fellow academicians and had a long-standing feud with Sir Joshua Reynolds – proposing Gainsborough for the Presidency in 1774. Things culminated the following year in the controversy surrounding The Conjuror (National Gallery of Ireland) in which Hone caricatures Reynolds, satirising his supposed plagiarism by including prints of the old masters which, he suggests, the Academy’s President had re-used in his work. Particular offence was taken to a female figure interpreted as representing Angelica Kauffmann, with whom Reynolds was rumoured to have had an affair. Although this was painted out, the work was rejected for hanging by the Academy and Hone exhibited it privately, together with almost a hundred other of his works, in one of the very first one-man shows, in St Martin’s Lane. The only work that Hone did exhibit at the Academy that year was the famous Spartan Boy (private collection), perhaps his finest child portrait, which Walpole admired at the exhibition for its colouring and expression. As noted above, Hone is famously at his best at portraying children. Waterhouse in his Dictionary notes how the artist was inspired to paint his most original and sensitive works by his son Camillus while le Harivel writes: ‘his affinity for children often captures the transience of childhood, [and is] surpassed only by Gainsborough’. Here, the young boy sits on a chair, one arm resting on its top as if he has been posed slightly against his will. This apparent reticence is, however, belied by his confident and expressive engagement directly with the painter whom he faces, and so with the viewer. It is a work of great charm, freshness and immediacy. Hone perfectly captures a characteristic mixture of shyness and mischief in the young boy’s face and, in this, it can be directly compared with a further work by the artist showing a child of a similar age, in rather similar costume (private collection, formerly with Agnews). Both paintings share the ‘slightly excessive brightness of expression (effected by the highlights in the eyes)’ which characterises Hone’s work. Again the costume and handling of paint is close to The Sketching Boy (National Gallery of Ireland), a portrait of another son Horace, who was himself to become an eminent miniaturist. The intimacy of the present work would suggest that it is of a family member, but this must await further confirmation.
About the Seller
1stdibs seller since 2016
Typical response time: 1 hour
Located in London, GB
- LAPADA - The Association of Arts & Antiques Dealers
- International Confederation of Art and Antique Dealers' Associations
- The British Antique Dealers' Association
More from this Seller
A portrait of Nathaniel Chauncey (1717-1790), sitt...
Canvas, Oil Paint
Half-length portrait of Nathaniel Chauncey, 1717-1790, sitting at a small table on which rest a leather-bound book, two sheets of drawings and a “black basalt-ware” figure of the Muse o...
A sporting Conversation Piece
Joseph van Aken
Canvas, Oil Paint
Joseph van Aken (1699-1749) A sporting Conversation Piece: two gentlemen with their guns and dogs rest at the edge of a wood; a third approaches them whilst a fourth, gun in hand, walk...
Portrait of Martha Seymer as Modesty
Canvas, Oil Paint
Portrait of Martha Seymer as Modesty Oil painting on canvas 30 x 25 inches (76 x 64cm) Contained in its original carved and gilded Georgian swept frame Provenance: By family decent...
Portrait of a young girl
Canvas, Oil Paint
Bartholomew Dandridge (1691-1755) Three-quarter length portrait of a girl, perhaps the hon. Anne, eldest daughter of Sir Jacob de Bouverie, 1st Viscount Folkestone. Oil painting on ca...
Portrait of a little boy with his pet dog
Full length portrait of a little boy with his pet dog, standing by a table with a velvet red tablecloth. He is dressed in a richly embroidered surcoat and doublet, and holds a toy lance...
A portrait of the Hageman family in an interior
Frans van der Myn
Frans van der Myn (1719-1782) An evening conversation piece in an opulent interior of Dr Cornelis and Mrs Henriette Hageman and their son John Jacob, she playing a gilt wood single-manu...
A portrait of two sisters sitting on a wooded bank...
Oil on canvas 30 x 25 in
Joseph's coat of many colours is shown to his fath...
Joseph's coat of many colours is shown to his father Jacob (Genesis, ch. 37) Oil painting on canvas size 58 x 72 inches / 148 x 198 cm. and contained in a carved and gilded neoclassica...
Full-length portrait of Jan Van Swieten standing i...
The Monogrammist S.S.
The Monogrammist S.S. (Dutch, Active 1646) Full-length portrait of Jan Van Swieten standing in a landscape by a celestial globe on a stone plinth, holding broad-brimmed hat and pointing...
Portrait of Dr John Gregory in a red coat
Francis Cotes RA (1726-1770) Portrait Dr John Gregory in a red coat Signed and dated 1763 Oil on canvas 91.4 x 71.1 cm 36 x 28 in PROVENANCE Lionel Clark, London; (his sale Sotheby’s, ...
A portrait of a huntsman resting with his dogs
Flemish School, circa 1670 A huntsman resting with his dogs in a wooded landscape Oil on canvas 129 x 93 cm 50 3/4 x 36 5/8 in
A portrait of Sir John Taylor Bart
Robert Edge Pine
Robert Edge Pine 1733-1788 Three quarter length portrait of Sir John Taylor FRS, 1st Bart., (1745-1786) wearing 'Van Dyck” dress and holding his feathered hat and a walking-caneOil pain...
You May Also Like
Cornelis van Haarlem Portrait of Dirck Volckertsz Coornhert, circa 1603, 1603
Portrait of Dirck Volckertsz Coornhert, circa 1603...
Cornelis van Haarlem
"Portrait of Dirck Volckertsz" Dutch Mannerist Golden Age Old Master Oil Painting on Chamfered Oak Panel, Cornelis van Haarlem, circa 1603 "Portrait of Dirck Volckertsz Coornhert" "...
Frederick Yeates Hurlestone Regency Sisters
Frederick Yeates Hurlestone
Frederick Yeates Hurlestone was an English Portrait and historical painter. This beautifully disarming portrait of two young girls with a basket of flowers is very much in the Victoria...
Elise Ansel The Red Ribbon (after Ingres), 2015
The Red Ribbon (after Ingres)
A New York City native based inPortland, ME, Elise Ansel studied Visual Art and Comparative Literature at the Rhode Island School of Design and Brown University, and then earned an MFA ...
17th Century English Portrait, possibly Queen Elizabeth the 1st in the guise of Diana the Huntress, circa 1600
Portrait, possibly Queen Elizabeth the 1st in the ...
17th Century English
17th Century English, Portrait, possibly Queen Elizabeth the 1st in the guise of Diana the Huntress Oil on canvas 11 ½ x 9 inches 21 x 18 inches including frame Elizabeth I (7 Septemb...
George Romney Portrait of Peregrine Bertie (1709-1779) , 1780
Portrait of Peregrine Bertie (1709-1779)
George Romney (26 December 1734 – 15 November 1802) was an English portrait painter. He was the most fashionable artist of his day, painting many leading society figures – including his...
Court Painter of 1630 Portrait of Charles II when a Baby, circa 1630
Portrait of Charles II when a Baby
Court Painter of 1630
English School CIRCA 1630 PORTRAIT OF CHARLES II WHEN A BABY later inscribed lower right: K. Charles II oil on canvas 126.5 by 103.5 cm.; 49 3/4 by 40 3/4 in. 140 x 117 cm including fra...
Attributed to Sir Thomas Lawrence Portrait of a Lady, circa1820
Portrait of a Lady
Attributed to Sir Thomas Lawrence
Thomas Lawrence was the most fashionable portrait painter of the Regency period, and by the time of his death in 1830, had become one of the most successful artists in Europe. A huge fa...
Sir Henry Raeburn Provost John Pitcairn of Dundee, c.17
Provost John Pitcairn of Dundee
Sir Henry Raeburn
The pendant to the present portrait showing John Pitcairn's wife Jean, née Robertson, is in the Huntington Art Gallery, San Marino. Both works are datable to the 1790s. Pitcairn, who se...
French Old Master Ecce Homo - Christ with Crown of Thorns oil painting on canvas, 18th
Ecce Homo - Christ with Crown of Thorns oil painti...
French Old Master
Ecce Homo French School, 18th century oil painting on canvas, unframed canvas: 16 x 12.5 inches Fine quality French Old Master oil painting on canvas, dating to the 18th century. The ...
G. Moretto Portrait of a 17th Century Dutch Golden Age Gentleman, c.20
Portrait of a 17th Century Dutch Golden Age Gentle...
The Dutch Gentleman by G. Moretto (Italian 20th century) signed lower left oil painting on canvas, framed canvas: 24 x 20 inches framed: 32 x 28 inches Fine quality portrait of a 17th...
Flemish School 17th Century Flemish Old Master Oil on Oak Panel - Head of Christ, 17th
17th Century Flemish Old Master Oil on Oak Panel -...
Museum quality, exceptionally fine early 17th century Flemish Old Master oil painting. The painting depicts the head of Christ. Painted in oils on oak wood panel, the face of Christ i...
Continental Old Master 18th Century Portrait of an Orthodox Archimandrite, 18th
18th Century Portrait of an Orthodox Archimandrite...
Continental Old Master
The Archimandrite Continental School, 18th century oil painting on canvas, framed canvas: 38 x 33 inches framed: 43.5 x 39 inches Very fine and rare antique portrait of an Orthodox re...