Painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds. Engrav'd by R. Dunkarton. Miss Horneck. "Miss Horneck." London. Wr. Shropshire, No.158, New Bond Street. 1778
Scarce Mezzotint after Sir Joshua Reynolds, of Miss Horneck, (1753-1840), actress later Mrs. Mary Gwyn wife of General Gwyn; Oliver Goldsmith's Jessamy Bride .Later hand colour. The original painting by Reynolds was exhibited Royal Academy in 1775 . The portrait shows the actress in Turkish attire kneeling. Mary Horneck was the younger daughter of Captain Kane William Horneck and Hannah Horneck. Upon the death of their father the sisters become wards of Sir Joshua Reynolds, the family being old Devonshire acquaintances of his. They lived in London with their mother, and were key beauties and wits in society. Goldsmith, who knew them well, playfully named Miss Catherine Little Comedy [from the resemblance between her face and that of the allegorical figure of Comedy in one of Reynolds's portraits of Garrick] and gave Mary the loving nickname of the Jessamy Bride.The family travelled with Goldsmith to Paris and he visited Catherine shortly after her marriage to the famous charicaturist Henry William Bunbury. The sisters' social as well as personal charms are uniformly spoken of by all. Mary, who did not marry till after Goldsmith's death, lived long enough to be admired by Hazlitt, to whom she talked of the poet with affection unabated by age, till he "could almost fancy the shade of Goldsmith in the room, looking round with complacency." Good impressionwith later hand colour; slight wrinkling; lower margin trimmed to 8mm from plate mark; laid to guard on left margin, edge of left margin chipped.
Sir Joshua Reynolds 1723 -1792 Portrait and history painter; the dominant artistic personality of the age of George III. Founder and first President of the Royal Academy of Arts in 1768, to which he gave his lectures published as his 'Discourses'. Exhibited : SA 1760-68; RA 1769-90 (when he went blind). Important collector of Old Master drawings, many of which (approximately one quarter) are now held in the British Museum.
Robert Dunkarton (1744 - 1811) Mezzotinter; began as portrait painter; won seven premiums at Society of Artists 1761-67; pupil of William Pether c. 1768, when he exhibited crayons at Society of Artists; exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts 1774-79; mezzotints dated 1770 to 1810, when he published his own last dated prints; probably died soon after.
Walter Shropshire ( active:1767 - 1785 ) Print publisher and dealer; in partnership with Thomas Watson 1771-9; retired in 1779 when business taken over by Watson & Dickinson. Also dealt in earlier prints, and he issued fixed price catalogues between 1768 and 1774.
Chaloner Smith 25; Russell 25.III; Hamilton p.109.II;Maxted p.204. 500 by 355mm (19¾ by 14 inches).
ref: 2673 €300