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This formal group portrait is a record of the dynastic union, through marriage, of the financially powerful Du Cane and Boehm families, both of Huguenot (exiled French Protestant) descent. Standing at the centre is Richard Du Cane, flanked by his family, including the couple whose marriage in 1735 united the two families: his daughter Jane and Charles Boehm. The portrait is among Hamilton’s most ambitious compositions and shows why contemporaries regarded him as a serious rival to William Hogarth.

February 2016