Sir William Beechey (Burford 1753 - Hampstead 1839)

Portrait of a boy, half-length, seated in a woodland.


Portrait of a boy, half-length, seated in a woodland.

oil on canvas.

Sold, Autumn 2014

Beechey was among the more prominent portrait painters in late Georgian London. Elected to the Royal Academy in 1798, he continued to exhibit regularly there until his death. He was appointed portrait painter to Queen Charlotte in 1793, and enjoyed a close association with the royal family for nearly a decade. His gigantic group portrait, George III reviewing the Dragoons (Royal Collection) earned him a knighthood.

His finest portraits date from the very early nineteenth century, and his colouring is sometimes reminiscent of pastels of the period, as in this beautifully-preserved example. The boy’s identity is not known for certain, but in sophistication and subtle charm this portrait rivals those of Thomas Lawrence and John Hoppner in the period.