Henry Pelham (1694-1754) Prime Minister
- About the work
About the artist
Richard Houston was born in Dublin. As a young man he was apprenticed to engraver and publisher John Brooks and studied under Robert West at the Dublin Society Schools. Early in 1746 he moved to London with Brooks and engraver James McArdell, living near Fleet Street before establishing himself in Covent Garden, from where he published prints after contemporary portraits and works by Rembrandt. He also engraved portraits of racehorses for others. In 1758 his engraving of the King of Prussia, after Antoine Pesne, was published by Robert Sayer. From June to August 1765 Houston was an inmate of the Fleet Prison, reportedly for a debt owed to Sayer. Sayer later employed him to engrave further works before his death in London, in his early 50s.
William Hoare produced portraits in both oil and pastel. He was based in Bath and it was there he achieved most success. He studied in London in the 1720s and in 1728 travelled to Italy, where he remained for about a decade. There he made contact with Grand Tourists and established the foundations of patronage which continued to serve him well on his return to England. He settled in Bath in the late 1730s, where there was a great demand for portraits. He was involved in the early discussions which eventually led to the creation of the Royal Academy of Art in London in 1768 and George III added Hoare’s name as a founding member of the Academy. Hoare enjoyed a successful career until his death in 1792.