John Hoppner

John Hoppner RA ( born April 4, 1758 in London, † January 23, 1810 in London) was an English painter of German origin and court painter to the English royal family. As the successor of Sir Joshua Reynolds, he dominated the London art scene from 1790 to 1810. Hoppner painted celebrities, from the Prince of Wales, later King George IV, to the British national hero Nelson and Wellington.


Hoppner was the son of a German maid of Queen Charlotte, the wife of King George III. Since early youth he enjoyed the support of George III, which led at that time to the speculation Hoppner was his son, though this has never been proven. While growing up in the British court, he was a chorister at the Chapel Royal. Because of his strong interest in art, he received from the king in 1775 for permission to go to the Royal Academy, Royal Academy of Arts.

In 1782 he was awarded the gold medal, the highest award of the Academy, for the historical paintings of King Lear. 1785 Hoppner was commissioned to paint the three youngest daughters of the king, Princess Sophie, Amelia and Mary. These images are still in the Royal Collection. 1778 Hoppner received by the Academy silver medal for his realistic drawings. His early love was landscape painting, but he switched to the more lucrative portraiture. Hoppner was an established portrait painter, which brought in its connections to the farm many important clients. He was immediately successful and became the biggest rival of Sir Thomas Lawrence.

In 1789 he was the portrait painter to the Prince of Wales, despite the expressions of sympathy for the rebels in the American War of Independence by Hoppner's mother, the American sculptor Patience Wright, whose daughter he had married Phoebe.

After Hoppner was in 1795 elected to the Royal Academy, he exhibited from 1780 to 1809 there his images. In his later years Hoppner suffered from a disease of the liver. When he died on January 23, 1810, he had issued solely in the Royal Academy more than 170 images.

Hoppner's son Richard Belgrave Hoppner was also a painter, but more specialized in maritime scenes than on portraits.


As a portrait painter Hoppner was very popular. He was a skilled draftsman with a keen awareness of color and free painting. His use of color, his understanding of anatomy, his sense of the textures of the clothes and the way he lit his portraits helped him to general acclaim. Influenced by the Venetian Renaissance, he captured a fresh and lovely, preferably youthful, portrait of his models. The taste of the time, he combined the charisma of its models with romantic and classy poses. On portrait for Vice Admiral Lord Hugh Seymour example, this can be traced at term and at low angle. In his second portrait of Mrs. Sheridan, however, Hoppner refuted the accusation that he Can you turn all his female models in beauty.

The best portraits are those of the Prince of Wales, the Duke and Duchess of York, of Lord Rodney and of Lord Nelson. Among his models to find Sir Walter Scott, Arthur Wellington, John Hookham Frere and William Pitt the Younger.

The best and most successful works in general are perhaps the women and children. 1803 Hoppner published a series of such motifs. Idealistic motives are more likely to find rare in the factory. Some examples are " The Sleeping Venus ," " Belisarius ," " Jupiter and Io ", " Bacchante " and " Cupid and Psyche".

Today, many images are faded and have lost their vibrant colors. For the images Hoppner's served but as a template for countless prints and replicas that today allow us an impression of the original state of the images.

List of Works (excerpt)

  • Admiral Adam Duncan, 1st Viscount Duncan of Camperdown, Portrait
  • Rear- Admiral Sir Horatio Nelson, Portrait 1800
  • Lord Cornwallis, Portrait
  • William Pitt, the studio of John Hoppner, Portrait, Oil on canvas, 1804-1805
  • Joseph Haydn, Portrait, 1791
  • Sir Ralph Abercromby, Portrait
  • Captain Peter Parker, Portrait 1808-1810
  • Captain Henry Blackwood, Portrait 1806
  • Lord Hugh Seymour, Portrait 1799
  • The Sackville Children, oil on canvas, 152.4 x 124.5 cm, 1796, Metropolitan Museum of Art 's, New York
  • Miss Mary Linwood, Portrait, Oil on canvas, 1800
  • Major Thomas Pechell (1753-1826), 1799, Metropolitan Museum of Art 's, New York
  • Mrs. Richard Brinsley Sheridan and Her Son, Metropolitan Museum of Art 's, New York
  • John Hoppner, Self Portrait, Oil on canvas, 76.2 cm x 63.5 cm, 1800, National Portrait Gallery, London
  • Dorothy Jordan, Portrait, Oil on canvas, 1791 National Portrait Gallery, London
  • William Wyndham Grenville, 1st Baron Grenville, Portrait, Oil on canvas, 1800, National Portrait Gallery, London
  • Charles Abbot, 1st Baron Colchester, Portrait, Oil on canvas, 1802 National Portrait Gallery, London
  • The Viscountess of St Asaph, Portrait, Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco
  • Portrait of a Lady, Portrait, Oil on canvas, 1795, National Gallery of Victoria, Australia
  • Mrs Williams, Portrait, Oil on canvas, ca.1790, Tate Museum Britain