William Hoare of Bath (British 1707-1792)


KT 171


William Hoare of Bath (British 1707-1792)

A girl reading a book

Black chalk on laid paper with an unidentified oval watermark

14.8 x 19.8 cm

John Sutton

Hoare, a portraitist in oil and pastel settled in London in the 1720s and was apprenticed to the Flemish painter Giseppe Grisoni. In 1728 he returned to Italy and took Hoare with him. Hoare spent a decade in Italy, studying the Old Masters, meeting British ‘Grand Tourists’, many of whom became future patrons, and perfecting his technique in chalk and pastel.

On his return to England he settled in fashionable Bath around 1738, where he remained until his death. He was a founder member of the Royal Academy.  This portrait is a charming example of the intimate style Hoare adopted later in his career when painting his family and friends, with rapid, loose strokes which suggest form. It would have been intended as a private image of which very few were worked up into oil paintings.