Portraiture occupied much of the attention of William Hogarth in the first half of the 1740s.

Then, as throughout his career, the artist's sitters were more likely to be from the professional middle classes than the aristocracy or royal family, and were often men and women he knew personally. Hogarth was on friendly terms with the entire Hoadly family and painted the flamboyant three-quarter length of Bishop Hoadly, now in the Tate gallery. The same year he painted this portrait of the Bishop's daughter-in-law Elizabeth. It forms a pendant to a head and shoulders of her husband in the National Gallery, Dublin. This portrait of Elizabeth Hoadly wearing a lilac dress vividly exemplifies the directness of approach and robust, bravura brushwork that Hogarth employed at this time and plays a pivotal role in York's 18th-century British collection, which hitherto lacked a representation of Hogarth, the first native painter with a European reputation.


Matthew Raper thence by descent; Christie's 1922; A L Nicholson; P Jackson Hicks; A L Nicholson; Virginia R Garver; William Doyle Galleries; Leger Galleries; Spink-Leger Pictures

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