Credit: © The Royal Society
    Image number: RS.9551
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    Portrait of John Hunter

    John Hunter (1728 - 1793, British) , Anatomist and Surgeon, Surgeon
    Robert Home (1752 - 1834, British) , Painter
    Object type
    Archive reference number
    height (painting): 1300mm
    width (painting): 1020mm
    Content object
       > animal
          > dog
    Three quarter length portrait, seated outdoors in a lightly wooded landscape. Hunter rests his left hand on the head of a dog, which is in turn rests its head in Hunter’s knee. The sitter is dressed in a black tri-corner hat, dark blue coat and white neck-cloth with a red waistcoat embroidered in gold and buckled knee-breeches over white stockings. Hunter’s right hand rests inside his coat.

    The animal has been identified as one of John Hunter’s wolf-dog hybrids. [The knife man, Wendy Moore (London Bantam Press, 2005), pp.170-172].

    John Hunter was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1767.
    Object history
    Presented by Sir James Everard Home FRS (1798-1853), 1850.

    The donation of this picture is noted in Council Minutes, reproducing a letter from Sir [James] Everard Home: “4 Queen Anne Street, June 14 1850. Sir, - I have the honour to offer for the acceptance of the Royal Society, to be suspended in the Meeting Room, two pictures, one of John Hunter, the other of Jesse Ramsden, optician, both of them painted by the late Robert Home, Esq…“ [Royal Society Minutes of Council, Printed CMP/2/56, 1846-1858, p.158, meeting of 20 June 1850].

    A later letter from Sir [James] Everard Home notes that this portrait of Hunter was painted ‘when Mr. Home was twenty years of age, about the year 1772’ [Royal Society Minutes of Council, Printed CMP/2/57].

    The artist Robert Home was the brother of the surgeon Sir Everard Home FRS (1756-1832) and of the poet Anne Home (1742-1821) who married John Hunter.

    The picture was donated with the Society’s portrait of Jesse Ramsden, also by Robert Home.
    Associated place
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