circle of Jonathan Richardson the Elder, Unknown Woman (? Mary Hawkins)

Photo courtesy of Dave Penman (All rights reserved)


Country House
Unknown Woman (? Mary Hawkins)
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
Overall height: 74 cm, Overall width: 61 cm
circle of Jonathan Richardson the Elder (1667-1745)
Catalogue Number


There has in the past been some confusion over the identities of TN27 and TN28, which appear to be pendant portraits, by the same artist, in matching Rococo pierced frames. From the dress of the sitters and painting style, the portraits can be dated to around 1730. They therefore cannot be identified as Thomas Hawkins (d. 1716) and his wife Anne, as has been previously suggested. Since it is probable that the pendant portrait (TN28) is of Christopher Hawkins (1694–1767), it is possible that the present portrait is of his wife, Mary (1694–1780), daughter of Philip Hawkins I of Pennance. Her portrait, at the age of nineteen, by Gandy (TN63), and another taken in middle age (TN54), are also at Trewithen. A comparison, however, between the present portrait and TN63 suggests that they may not be the same sitter – even allowing for the age difference.

The inventory of March 1928, when the picture was recorded in the Dining Room, states, ‘Companion picture of Ann, wife of the above [TN28], dark hair, cerise décolleté bodice, 30in by 24in’.

by Emily Burns

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