Williame Hoare, Bath Abbey, by Francis Chantrey

Williame Hoare. 1828. Sculptor: Sir Francis Chantrey (1781-1841). Marble. Bath Abbey. Left: The complete monument. Right: The memorial inscription. [Click on these pictures and those below to enlarge them.]

The late-Victorian version of the Dictionary of National Biography (1891), relates that the artist, who was known as "Hoare of Bath," studied in Italy, became a prominent portraitist, and one of the first members of the Royal Academy. Upon his return from Italy,

he established himself in London, hoping to obtain employment as a painter of historical subjects, but, failing in this, he turned to portrait-painting, and met with much success. On his marriage with a Miss Barker, whose family was connected with Bath, he removed to that city, and remained there till his death. Hoare soon obtained a large and lucrative practice; for many years he was without a rival, and most of the distinguished persons who usually visited Bath sat to him; among them was the elder Pitt, who presented his portrait to Lord Temple in 1764, and wrote in high terms of the artist's powers. . . . At on early period Hoare practised crayon drawing. Rosalba Carriera had made the art popular, and Hoare obtained from her two examples of her work, in order to master the technique of the method. His crayon portraits are very numerous, and perhaps more highly esteemed than his works in oil.

Although most of his works consist of portraits, Hoare did several religious paintings for churches in Bath. “A man of scholarly tastes, he enjoyed the personal friendship of many of his prominent sitters. He was a constant visitor to Prior Park, the seat of Ralph Allen where he met Pope and other men of the era.” One of his sons “Prince was the well-known artist and dramatist, and a daughter . . . exhibited pictures with the Society of Artists and the Free Society between 1761 and 1764. He had a brother who practised as a sculptor at Bath, and executed the statue of 'Beau' Nash in the Pump Room.”

Two details: Left: Mourning angel with profile portrait of Hoare.Right: Signature and date..

Photographs by Robert Freidus; text and formatting by George P. Landow. [You may use these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.]


“William Hoare.” Dictionary of National Biography. Ed. Sidney Lee. Vol. 28 [Hindmarsh — Hovernden]. New York: Macmillan; London: Smith, Elder, 1891. Internet Archive. Web. 5 February 2012.

Pevsner, Nikolaus. North Somerset and Bristol. London: Penguin Books, 1986.

Last modified 5 February 2012