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Oil on canvas in a period giltwood frame.
This beautiful and sensitively painted portrait is of Sophia Dashwood (identified through an old name plate on the reverse). Sophia was the daughter of Samuel Dashwood (1725-1793) of Well Hall in Lincolnshire and his wife Anne, daughter of James Bateman who married in London in 1744. She was one of seven children.
Thomas Hickey (1741-1824) was born in Dublin and between 1753 and 1756 he studied at the Royal Society Schools where he won several prizes for his work. He spent some time working in Rome between 1762 and 1767 and exhibited portraits at the Royal Academy (1772-6) In 1775 his sitters included the Duke of Cumberland and the actress Mrs Abington. In December 1776 he moved to Bath for two years where he painted two full-length portraits of the masters of ceremonies, William Dawson and William Brereton.
In 1780 Hickey received permission from the East India Company to travel to India and with him took a letter from Joshua Reynolds recommending 'a very ingenious young painter' who wished to 'make a trial of his own abilities'. On the way to India his ship was captured by the French and Spanish and he was taken to Cadiz. He was released and travelled to Lisbon where he remained for three years, establishing a successful portrait practice. He finally arrived in Calcutta in March 1784. During this period he painted the Indian lady 'Jemdanee', which remains one of his finest paintings. (National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin). From 1791 he spent time in both London and Dublin and travelled to Peking, before returning to India for the last time to Madras in 1798. Again, Hickey found himself in considerable demand and had a busy portrait practice. He died in Madras in 1824 aged eighty-three.
With Thomas Agnew and Sons, London 1967 (as Nathaniel Dance RA)
Private collection, London since 1967
|Height||90.00 cm||(35.43 inches)|
|Width||78.00 cm||(30.71 inches)|