Horace Hone A.R.A. (1756-1825)
The son of renowned artist Nathaniel Hone, Horace was both a brilliant draughtsman and well connected. By the date of the present work, he had painted the famous actress Sarah Siddons (1784)
This exceptionally large portrait by the Irish artist Horace Hone depicts an officer of the 18th royal Irish regiment of foot. By 1790, Hone was settled in Dublin and no longer exhibiting at the Royal Academy in London as he had during his early career. The son of renowned artist Nathaniel Hone, Horace was both a brilliant draughtsman and well connected. By the date of the present work, he had painted the famous actress Sarah Siddons (1784); a work of a similar scale (this portrait measures 92mm high). By painting on a more ambitious scale, Hone was competing with the portrait painters working in oil. He was also able to paint more freely, as seen in the looser brush work of this portrait.
In 1795 Hone was appointed miniature painter to the Prince of Wales. His successful Irish practice was badly affected by the 1800 Act of Union as many of his fashionable patrons moved to London after this date. In 1804 he returned to London but suffered increasing bouts of mental instability. A letter from Hone, now in the archives of the Royal Academy and dated 1820 shows him pleading for a pension in the face of financial ruin. This was duly awarded, together with a donation of £50. Hone died in 1825 in Dover Street, Mayfair.