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Miss Sophia Hoare

36 x 28 in. (91.4 x 71.1 cm)

Sir Joshua Reynolds
England (Plymouth, England, 1723 - 1792, London)

Object Type: Painting
Medium and Support: Oil on canvas
Credit Line: George Eastman Collection of the University of Rochester
Accession Number: 1977.1
Link to this object
Location: Not currently on view
Collection: George Eastman Collection

Joshua Reynolds was the leading portrait painter in 18th-century England, the first president of London’s Royal Academy, and a respected art critic. He frequently modeled his sitters’ poses on those seen in Old Master painting and ancient classical sculpture. Reynolds’ use of rich color, strong lighting, and loose brushwork greatly influenced the next generation of British portraitists, including Sir Thomas Lawrence and Sir Henry Raeburn.

The young woman in this portrait, Sophia Hoare (c. 1765-1836), was the daughter of Richard Hoare, an heir to the founder of England’s oldest private bank. Sophia’s portrait was commissioned by William Grimston, whom she married in February 1783. Reynolds noted the transaction in his account books: “Miss Hoare, paid by Mr. Grimpstone, £ 78 15s.; a very proper attention on the part of the fiancé.”

[Forman Gallery, Summer 2015]

The sitter, later Mrs. William Grimston; Mrs. Berkeley Paget; Mrs Frederick Paget, Christie's sale, March 26, 1859; Lord Hylton; M. Knoedler, New York; purchased from them by George Eastman (1854-1932), Rochester, NY, December 1912; his bequest to the University of Rochester, 1932; transferred to the Gallery in 1977

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About Face: Copley’s Portrait of a Colonial Silversmith About Face: Copley’s Portrait of a Colonial Silversmith explores the lives and work of two artists within colonial Boston prior to the outbreak of the American Revolution: painter John Singleton Copley and silversmith Nathaniel Hurd. In addition to focusing upon paintings by Copley and silver pieces by Hurd, these works and other objects put into context the daily life of colonial Boston. Primary source documents (art works, objects, and written texts) provide students with a view of the experiences of men and women who were alive around the time of the American Revolution.

Students will develop critical looking and thinking skills as they gain experience in interpreting historical documents; analyze different interpretations of a key political turning point in American history through the study of visual and written documents of the Boston Massacre; explore important social issues through portraiture.; and evaluate the colonial American economy through primary source documents, like Nathaniel Hurd’s Table of Conversions and a colonial coin.

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