Nathaniel Hone the Elder, Irish, 1718-1784
Title: Portrait of a Boy (Horace Hone), Sketching
Date: c.1766
Medium: Oil on canvas
128 x 105 cm
Credit Line: Purchased, 1954
Object Number: NGI.1297
ProvenanceMrs McFarren-Wolfe, Philadelphia; Private Collection; purchased, Private Collection, December 1954
Exhibition HistoryPossibly Society of Artists Exhibition, London, 1766

Irish Portraits 1660-1860, National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, 14 August - 14 October 1969; National Portrait Gallery, London, 30 October 1969 - 4 January 1970; Ulster Museum, Belfast, 28 January - 9 March 1970

Aspects of Irish Art, a Loan Exhibition; Columbus Gallery of Fine Arts, Columbus, Ohio, 27 January - 3 March 1974; Toledo Museum of Arts, Toledo, Ohio, 17 March - 14 April 1974; St Louis Art Museum, St Louis, Missouri, 3 May - 9 June 1974
Label TextHone’s portraits of his many children are among his most sensitive. In this picture, his son Horace studies a bust intently, his porte-crayon poised over his drawing board. His relaxed disposition and the apparently random display of artistic paraphernalia at his feet contrast with the formal arrangement of the portrait as a whole. The picture serves as a record of a father's acknowledgement of, and reflected pride in, his son's conscientiousness and artistic promise. Both Horace and his brother John Camillus became accomplished miniaturists in due course.

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