Historical Portraits Picture Archive

Portrait of a Goanese Girl 1780s 1780s

Thomas Hickey (1741-1824)

Portrait of a Goanese Girl 1780s, Thomas Hickey
Oil on canvas
18th Century
12 x 10 inches 31.75 x 26 cm
Painted on one of Hickey's characteristic small, oval canvasses, this sensitive portrait of a young Goanese girl is a strikingly direct and personal study. We do not know her identity, but she is dressed after the European fashion of the turn of 1780s and may well be the child of an English colonist, or a member of an English expatriate household.

Thomas Hickey studied in Dublin before moving to London and entering the Royal Academy schools in 1771. By 1772 he was represented at the Royal Academy, and after travelling and working through Portugal to India, returning briefly to England in June 1791 and to Dublin in 1796, he settled to a successful portrait practice in Madras until his death on 20 May 1824.
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