Lady Rachel

Horace Hone, 1783


Painted in 1783, this young lady’s portrait was one of Horace Hone’s earliest commissions following his move to Dublin. Named on the reverse as Lady Rac’l [Rachel] Tweeke, she is shown in a classical décolleté gown worn with a knotted kerchief and a pale blue surcoat. With a modest blush to her cheeks, her curled hair is swept up over ‘cushions’ or pads (these were often stuffed with horsehair) to add height. A blue ribbon has been woven through her hair with loose curls falling over her shoulder to soften the effect.

The miniature is signed HH / 1783. It is in fine condition and is housed in a modest gilt metal frame, the reverse inscribed and retaining the exhibition label of the Burlington Fine Arts Club.

Horace Hone (1754-1825) was taught how to paint by his father, Nathaniel, before attending the Royal Academy Schools. In October 1799 he married Sophia Ursula Dapper and in 1782 they settled in Dublin where Hone managed a fashionable studio. His career was boosted in 1795 when he was appointed Miniature Painter to the Prince of Wales (later George IV). In later years he returned to live in London but by then was suffering from poor mental health. He died suddenly in 1825 despite having recently recovered from a serious illness.

Item Ref. 6922

Size: framed, 69 x 57mm

Provenance: Ernest Renton, 1885 ; Charles Edward Lees Collection, Bonhams 1997 ; Private UK Collection

Exhibited: Burlington Fine Arts Club, 1889 (Case XXIX, no. 7, on loan from Charles E. Lees)