thrale & thrall family history

Hester Lynch Salusbury

Hester Lynch Salusbury
Signature Image

Female 1741 - 1821  (80 years)


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Hester Lynch Thrale by John Singleton Copley in 1778

Three quarter length seated portrait of a lady, traditionally identified as Mrs. Thrale, dressed in blue with a lace bonnet, crizzling silver tread. Painted in 1778. Oil painting on canvas 50 x 40 inches in its original gilt wood frame.

Provenance: By descent in the Packe-Drury-Lowe family since at least the middle of the 19th century until acquired by Lane Fine Art.

This exceptionally well-painted portrait is by the greatest American painter of the 18th century, John Singleton Copley. A Bostonian by birth, he has left us with a splendid record of revolutionary America in the years leading up to 1776. A traditionalist by nature, he found his clientele slipping away from him in New York and Boston, and decided to journey first to Italy to widen his education and thence to London, where he rapidly rose to the very first rank of London portraitists, the rival of Gainsborough, Reynolds and Lawrence.

The present painting must be among his very earliest productions in England, and uses a pose which he used in both continents. The lady is "crizzling", and typifies the virtues or Labour and Economy, for the job embodied the tedious but valuable task of recovering and recycling the gold and silver thread which was used so widely in fashionable clothing at this date.

The traditional identification of the sitter as "Mrs Thrale", seems improbable compared with other portraits of that sitter.

Owner of original
File namehester_lynch_thrale_by_copley_in_1778.png
File Size248.22k
Dimensions377 x 480
Linked toHester Lynch Salusbury

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