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Collection

An image of The daughters of Sir Thomas Frankland by William Ward, after John Hoppner

William Ward

(England 1766 – 1826)

after John Hoppner

(England 1758 – 1810)

Title
The daughters of Sir Thomas Frankland
Other titles:
The daughters of Sir Thomas Frankland (The sisters)
Year
1797
Media category
Print
Materials used
mezzotint
Edition
i of 4 states
Dimensions

58.5 x 45.5 cm platemark; 62.0 x 48.7 cm sheet

Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Credit
Purchased 2012
Accession number
264.2012
Location
Temporary exhibitions gallery
Further information

The mezzotint by William Ward after John Hoppner represents the daughters of Sir Thomas Frankland, Marianne and Amelia, tenderly caressing within a woodland enclave, while a faithful spaniel sleeps at their feet. Marianne hugs Emilia, who holds a crayon and portfolio of sketches. The depiction of natural settings in portraiture in this period served to draw attention to the informality, simplicity and natural sincerity of the sitters. It was also a response to the late 18th century cult of Sensibility – the capacity to feel refined emotions together with the capacity for delicate perceptions, especially of natural beauty.

The mezzotint reproduces John Hoppner’s painting, ‘The Frankland sisters’ (1795) in the National Gallery Washington. The velvety softness and delicacy of forms constitute a remarkable high point in Ward’s engraving. The mezzotint is a rare proof impression (which accounts for its tonal richness), before the addition of printed inscriptions below the image.

Bibliography (1)

J.C. Smith, British Mezzotinto Portraits Described, London, 1882, Part IV, 1466. no.38

Exhibition history (1)

European prints and drawings 1500-1900, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 30 Aug 2014–02 Nov 2014