Circa 1766 England
William Hoare of Bath (1707-1792), Portrait of Ann Bathurst (c.1739-1804)
Height 40 1/2 inches (102.87 cm
Width 36 inches (91.44 cm)
Depth 3 inches (7.62 cm)
William Hoare of Bath (1707-1792)
Ann Bathurst (c.1739-1804)
Oil on canvas; held in a 18th century carved gilt frame
Provenance: By family descent, Fulbeck Manor Lincolnshire
The sitter was the daughter of Thomas Haskett of Alton Pancras, Dorset. She married in 1766 Poole Bathurst (c.1735-1794), son of Benjamin Bathurst of Lydney Park, Gloucestershire, and nephew of 1st Earl Bathurst.
Lt Felton Hervey adopted the name Bathurst by license in early 1800s (to claim large inheritances this was sometimes done) due to marrying Selina Elwill only daughter and heiress of Sir John Ewill whose wife, Selina was 1st daughter and heiress of Peter Bathurst M.P.
Peter was brother to Allen, 1st Earl Bathurst and therefore uncle to Poole, the husband of Ann the sitter in this painting.
William Hoare was a celebrated 18th century portraitist based predominantly in Bath. He is most commonly known for his works in pastel but undertook a number of commissions in oil. Nominated personally by King George III for membership of the Royal Academy he exhibited there from 1770 until 1779. His contributions included more paintings than pastels, a fact that has been suggested is an indication he regarded oils as more suited to public exhibition.
This portrait certainly displays certain stylistic touches that are deeply reminiscent of his pastel technique, particularly the sketchy quality around the lace contrasting with the distinct clarity of the well poised head. Almost certainly this would have been commissioned from Hoare at the time of Ann Haskett’s marriage to Poole Bathurst in 1766 and therefore it is likely that there would have been a pendant portrait of him. She is fashionably attired in the “Van Dyke” dress, popular in mid-eighteenth century England with the portrait as a whole being presented in a notable carved gilt frame of the period. Hoare would have been a natural choice of artist for Poole to turn to as he also undertook several other portraits of the Bathurst family, mainly his nieces, the daughters of the 1st Earl Bathurst.