William Hoare 'of Bath' dominated the spa town's artistic life from around 1740 to 1780.

Hoare gained commissions to paint the leading political and literary figures of his day, many of whom came to Bath to recuperate and found the leisure to sit for portraits. John Pitt of Encombe (1704-1787) came from a long line of Dorset and Berkshire gentry. This group portrait depicts him with his wife Marcia and their son, William Morton Pitt. The unusual arrangement of Marcia's robe suggests that the artist may be drawing attention to the sitter's pregnancy. Hoare chose this painting to represent his work at the 1761 Society of Artist's exhibition in London.


Pitt Family; by descent to George Pitt; by descent from Laura Audley Gray; Christies, 1986; Sotheby's, 1988; Evelyn Newby; SothebyÂ’s, 1999; Private collector; Through Fergus Hall Master Paintings.

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