English Artist: Thomas Hazlehurst
Portrait of Hannah Hardman, with Sepia-Toned
Mourning Scene to the Reverse, in Memory of
Hannah and Her Young Son Samuel
by Thomas Hazlehurst (ca. 1740-ca. 1821)
1 1/2 x 2 inches (sight)
watercolor on ivory; housed in a gold pendant frame with sepia-toned mourning scene to the reverse
Formerly a holding of the Comerford Collection (John and Pauline Comerford) and exhibited May - September, 2009, at the Irish Architectural Archive, Dublin, Ireland
Hannah's portrait was likely commissioned to commemorate her betrothal. As we learn from the mourning scene to the reverse, however, Hannah and her young son Samuel passed away a short number of years thereafter. It was likely Hannah's husband who commissioned the mourning scene and had it and Hannah's portrait encased in the gold pendant that now houses them.
Sepia-Toned Mourning Scene to the Reverse of
Hannah Hardman's Portrait; Inscribed,
"In Memory of Samuel and Hannah Hardman,
Whose Short but Amiable Lives Promised a
Virtuous and Engaging Maturity."
This mourning scene was inspired by a larger painting (56 x 78 inches; oil on canvas) by Matthew Peters (1742-1814) titled, "An Angel Carrying the Spirit of a Child to Paradise", painted circa 1780. Peters' original is maintained in the collection of Burghley House, the 16th century estate home of the Cecil family, Earls of Exeter, located near Stamford, Lincolnshire, in the United Kingdom. Peter's original painting was reproduced for public sale in 1784, in an engraved print by William Dickinson (a London engraver and print seller) titled, "Of Such is the Kingdom of God". Dickinson's print resonated well with the cultural sentiments of Georgian era Britain, in a time when as many as one in four babies died before reaching their first birthday. Throughout the rest of the 1780s, and into the 1790s, the touching scene was also reproduced prolifically by portrait miniature painters. Like the one pictured here, such miniatures were typically painted in sepia-toned ink on ivory substrates, and housed in jeweled cases. Many survive to this day, though few in as excellent condition as this memorial to Hannah and Samuel Hardman.
Other portraits in the Tormey-Holder Collection by Thomas Hazlehurst
(click photos for larger views and additional information):
Young, Georgian Era Gentleman
Wearing a Brown Coat