P.O. Box 586 Downingtown, PA 19335 United States 212.308.2022
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$ 8,500

Silk and Wool Large Portrait of Mother & Her Children, After John Hoppner

In the Style of Sir John Hoppner
Origin England
Period 19th Century
Materials Berlin wool and Silk
W. 24.5 in; H. 31 in;
W. 62.23 cm; H. 78.74 cm;
Condition Good.
Creation Date 1830-50
Description Superb Large English Silk and Wool Portrait,
A Mother & Her Four Children,
after John Hoppner R.A.,
Circa 1830-50

Silk over linen fabric ground, silk floss, worsted wool yarn, Merino wool yarn and oil paint.

Dimensions: 31 inches high x 24 1/2 inches wide (78.74cm high x 62.23 cm wide).

A remarkable silk picture with a painted sky background and each figure with a painted face and hands with the remaining portions of the picture finished in wool. The design comes from a mezzotint after John Hoppner made in the 1790s. John Hoppner specialised in painting mothers and children.

The picture depicts a large standing female figure dressed in a white dress and wearing a turban. She stands by two classical columns with her four children in front of her.

The youngest child is sitting on the ground playing with her red shoe in her hands with a tambourine by her side. Her elder sister stands behind her. Both girls are dressed in Empire-style muslin dresses with a low neckline and puffed sleeves and high waist.

Her two brothers stand to one side, each dressed in a skeleton suit with red shirts with wide white frilly collars. Wrapped around the columns is a wide red fabric tied to them by a cord. The branches of a large leafy tree fill in behind.

See: ( )

Once upon a time children wore miniature versions of their parents' clothing styles. Then, in 1780 or 1790, depending on the source you read, children began to be dressed differently, wearing fashions designed just for them.

Not that small boys, left to their own devices, would have worn high-waisted, ankle length trousers made of heavy cotton or linen and white cambric shirts with ruffled trim, but these "skeleton suits" as they were called were popular for at least fifty years. The pants had high waists because they were buttoned onto the long-sleeved jacket.

Although these long-sleeved, trousered suits were meant to be comfortable, they had three layers at the waist, not including underwear. Heaven knows how hot the boys must have felt in the summer or during active play! Or how quickly the white ruffed shirts soiled! Completing the outfit were white stocking, flat-soled strap slippers, and a military-style cap. The strapped slippers can best be seen in the 1841 fashion plate image at the bottom of this post.

John Hoppner R.A. (1758 - 1810) (

He first exhibited at the Royal Academy In 1780. His earliest love was for landscape, but necessity obliged him to turn to the more lucrative business of portrait painting. At once successful, he had throughout life the most fashionable and wealthy sitters and was the greatest rival to the growing attraction of Thomas Lawrence. Ideal subjects were very rarely attempted by Hoppner, though a "Sleeping Venus," "Belisarius," "Jupiter and Io," a "Bacchante" and "Cupid and Psyche" are mentioned among his works. The prince of Wales visited him especially often, and many of his finest portraits are in the state apartments at St. James's Palace, the best perhaps being those of the prince, the duke and duchess of York, of Lord Rodney, and of Lord Nelson, Among his other sitters were Sir Walter Scott, the Duke of Wellington, Frere and Sir George Beaumont.
Styles / Movements Regency, Traditional
Patterns Traditional
Dealer Reference Number VM98122
Incollect Reference Number 403624
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