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Harriet Goodhue Hosmer

Harriet Goodhue Hosmer
Sir William Boxall, 1800 - 1879
Harriet Goodhue Hosmer, 9 Oct 1830 - 21 Feb 1908
Oil on canvas
91 x 71cm (35 13/16 x 27 15/16")
Frame: 102.9 × 82.2 × 5.1cm (40 1/2 × 32 3/8 × 2")
Equipment\Sports Equipment\Equestrian Gear\Riding Crop
Costume\Dress Accessory\Glove\Riding
Harriet Goodhue Hosmer: Female
Harriet Goodhue Hosmer: Visual Arts\Artist\Sculptor
United Kingdom\England\Greater London\London
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Restrictions & Rights
Object number
Exhibition Label
Born Watertown, Massachusetts
Sculptor Harriet Hosmer has emerged as a feminist icon and symbol of the emancipated woman. As a young girl, however, she endured many trials. By the time she was twelve years old, her two brothers, one sister, and mother had died of tuberculosis. Determined to keep his surviving daughter healthy, Hosmer’s father encouraged her to spend time outdoors, riding and canoeing.
At age twenty-two, Hosmer moved to Rome, where she lived among an Anglo-American community of artists, writers, and “independent women.” There she apprenticed with the leading Neoclassical sculptor of the time, John Gibson. Soon, her marble sculptures, many featuring idealized female subjects, were critically acclaimed in both England and the United States. British artist Sir William Boxall portrayed Hosmer outdoors in attire for horseback riding, a pastime that she continued to enjoy through her adult years. Exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts, the portrait captures Hosmer’s fearless determination.
Nacida en Watertown, Massachusetts
La escultora Harriet Hosmer se ha convertido en ícono feminista y símbolo de la mujer emancipada. No obstante, su niñez fue sumamente dura. A los 12 años había perdido a sus dos hermanos, una hermana y su madre por la tuberculosis. Su padre, decidido a mantener saludable a su hija sobreviviente, la estimuló a pasar tiempo al aire libre, montando a caballo y en canoa.
A los 22 años Hosmer se mudó a Roma, donde se insertó en una comunidad angloamericana de artistas, escritores y “mujeres independientes”. Allí fue aprendiz del escultor neoclásico más importante de la época, John Gibson. Sus esculturas en mármol, muchas de figuras femeninas idealizadas, pronto obtuvieron elogios de la crítica en Inglaterra y Estados Unidos. El británico sir William Boxall retrató a Hosmer al aire libre con atuendo de equitación, pasatiempo que siguió disfrutando en su madurez. Este retrato, que se exhibió en la Real Academia de Artes de Londres, plasma el talante tenaz e intrépido de Hosmer.
The artist; his great-nephew Austin Longland; his wife Mrs. S. Longland; (Christie’s London, 15 June 1973, lot 6 [wrongly identified as “artist’s niece”]; (Christopher Wood, London); (Hirschl & Adler, New York); purchased 1994 NPG
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
Out of Many: Portraits from 1600 to 1900
On View
NPG, East Gallery 140