Blue Elegance

Nathanial Hone


This young lady looks poised and sophisticated in her blue décolleté dress trimmed with expensive hand-made lace. She has accessorized her dress with pearl drop earrings and a fashionable choker necklace fastened with a ribbon bow in blue to match her eyes.

Signed on the obverse NH / 1756, the miniature is set in a (faux?) tortoiseshell and gilt metal frame that likely originated as the lid of a decorative box. There is some trapped dust on the surface of the  miniature and a little fading to the flesh tones. The reverse side of the frame is uneven and has remnants of old stickers.

Born in 1718, Nathaniel Hone was the son of a Dublin merchant. Having studied at the Dublin Society school, he travelled to England in 1742 as an itinerant painter and quickly fell in love and married heiress Mary Earl of York. He settled in London briefly before heading off to explore what Europe could teach him. By the 1750s he was back in London and was a founding member of the Royal Academy. Having found success painting miniatures and enamels initially, Hone later favoured larger scale portraiture in oils. Two of his surviving children also became artists.

Item Ref. 7136

Size: framed, 56 x 78mm