Probably commissioned by a relative of the sitter; Captain Hubert Charles Paulet Hamilton (1915-2007) of Co. Laois, Ireland until his death in 2007
Veronica Franklin Gould, G.F. Watts – The Last Great Victorian, 2004, illustrated Fig.99, p.118
In 1874 Watts painted a voluptuous Titianesque portrait of Miss Hannah Rothschild (1851-1890), daughter of the banker Baron Meyer de Rothschild who he had also portrayed in 1867. In the same year as the painting of Hannah’s portrait she inherited her father’s fortune, including the famous Mentmore Towers in Buckinghamshire with its priceless art collection. She had a personal fortune equivalent to £170million, making her the wealthiest woman in Britain. On 25 July 1874 Watts wrote to Hannah to urge her to attend the final sittings for her portrait as the artist’s residence (Little Holland House) was in imminent threat of being demolished. She married the 5th Earl of Rosebery in 1878 and two years later was painted as a married woman by Frederic Leighton (private collection). Following her early death from typhoid her distraught husband refused to travel unless accompanied by Watts' portrait which he carried with him for the rest of his life. The present picture is a replica of the 1874 portrait now at Dalmeny House in Scotland.
The picture is unlined and in very good condition. There are areas of bloom which could be easily removed by a picture conservator. Otherwise the picture is ready to hang.
UNDER ULTRAVIOLET LIGHT
There are no signs of retouching. The varnish appears opaque which suggests that it may be dulling the colours and the picture may benefit from a light clean.
The picture is contained in the original 'Watts-style' gilt and plaster moulded frame.
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