Hoppner was an English portrait painter, much influenced by Reynolds, who achieved fame as a brilliant colourist. Hoppner first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1780. His earliest love was for landscape, but necessity obliged him to turn to the more lucrative business of portrait painting. At once successful, he had throughout life the most fashionable and wealthy sitters, and was the greatest rival to the growing attraction of Thomas Lawrence. He rarely attempted ideal subjects, though a Sleeping Venus, Belisarius, Jupiter and Io, a Bacchante and Cupid and Psyche are recorded among his works. The Prince of Wales visited him especially often, and many of his finest portraits were hung in the state apartments at St James’s Palace, notably those of the prince himself, the Duke and Duchess of York, Lord Rodney and Lord Nelson. His other sitters included Sir Walter Scott, the Duke of Wellington, Henry Bartle Frere and Sir George Beaumont.
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