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Item #7288 [Lady Heathcote as Hebe]. James WARD, after John HOPPNER, portrait of, Lady Catherine Sophia HEATHCOTE.

WARD, James (1769-1859) after John HOPPNER (1758-1810); [Lady Catherine Sophia HEATHCOTE (1773-1825, portrait of)]

[Lady Heathcote as Hebe]

London: Published by James Ward, No. 6 Newman Street, Jan. 2, 1804. Mezzotint. Proof before letters. Possibly state i-vii/ix, Chaloner Smith notes that there are six progress proofs, and one finished proof before inscription in the British Museum. Without comparison it is impossible to note which state this print is. In excellent condition with the exception of some light foxing in the margins. Laid onto contemporary backing sheet with rubbed crease in upper left corner. Image size: 25 1/8 x 16 7/8 inches. Sheet size: 27 5/8 x 18 5/8 inches. Plate mark: 26 x 17 inches.

In Hoppner's dramatic portrait Lady Heathcote is depicted as Hebe, the goddess of youth.

This captivating portrait presents Lady Catherine Sophia Heathcote, the wife of Sir Gilbert Heathcote, in the guise of Hebe, the Greek goddess of youth and spring. In the backdrop, one can spot Ganymede, taking the form of an eagle, who would eventually take over as the cupbearer to the gods. This artistic choice reflects a tradition that was prevalent in portraiture during this era. Posing as historical and mythical figures allowed sitters to convey specific attributes and symbolism, often reflecting their own qualities or aspirations. Lady Heathcote, in her portrayal as Hebe, is depicted in the act of pouring divine ambrosia amidst turbulent stormy clouds, serving as an ethereal embodiment of her undoubtedly vivacious and spirited nature. The artwork masterfully merges elements of Classicism and Romanticism, showcasing both the idealized form associated with classical antiquity and the emotional depth and drama that characterized the Romantic period in art. By assuming the persona of Hebe, the youthful and vibrant cupbearer of the gods, Lady Heathcote steps into a more dynamic and powerful role, breaking away from the conventional confines of female representation.

Chaloner Smith, British Mezzotinto Portraits 23, possibly states i-vii/iii (Smith does not count the progress proofs as states); O'Donoghue, Catalogue of Engraved British Portraits... in the British Museum 2; Lennox-Boyd & Stogdon, possibly states i-vii/ix.

Item #7288

Price: $850.00