Portrait of Hester and Queeney Thrale in 1777/8 by Sir Joshua Reynolds


I'm writing to you from the city of Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada - home of the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, where the Reynolds' masterpiece Mrs. Thrale and Her Daughter Queeney now resides.

"Mrs. Thrale" was acquired by Lord Beaverbrook (Sir Max Aitken - historically connected to "The Daily Express" in London) in 1955, and has been a jewel of our collection in the gallery since he "gifted" it to the people of New Brunswick in 1959.

As a Docent at the gallery, I'm working on a presentation of "The Real Mrs. Thrale", for Gallery members' information. After searching our archives, and reading various printed references, I have been visiting the web, and was delighted to find your informative website. I feel as if I am receiving "the real goods" on the lady, as information here is from "family".

My work on this particular paper is nearly complete, but I have other unfinished work involving Hester Lynch (Salusbury) Thrale. It concerns a painting ostensibly of her (that full name is inscribed within the painting itself), and the painting is not signed. It was originally ascribed to Nathaniel Dance, but in recent years, some art "experts" have come to believe that it was done by Copley.

May I send you more information about this, in the hope that you can shed some light on questions which have arisen from this new "authorship" of Mrs. Thrale's likeness?

Thank you for your kind attention. I hope to learn more concerning this subject.

Janet Burgess.

David Thrale's picture

Janet I saw the The Hester and Queeney image when it came on tour to the National Portrait Gallery in London last year. It is fantastic. The colours are stunning. I would be delighted if there are any details about the portrait which I do not have that you could add about the portrait. Although I believe the image is public domain, I'd also appreciate consent from BAG to reproduce the imaged on my site. You can see my relationship with Hester here. I was interested to hear about the other Hester portrait. Yes I'd be delighted to receive more information from you about these. You can see all my Hester images here. Is it one of these? I have one attributed to Copley here and one attributed to Dance here. Thanks again for making contact and I look forward to hearing from you again.

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