Description & Technical information

A very fine large mid-18th century English oil painting of The Hopkins Family from the circle of Johann Zoffany R.A. 1735-1810. The painting is sold with documented provenance going back 245 years and features in the biography of Johan Zoffany published in 1920. It was exhibited as ‘The Hopkins Family with Dr. Boutflower’ by Johann Zoffany at Sir Philip Sassoon’s English Conversation Pictures’, London 1930, sold as ‘Sir John & Lady Hopkins and their Children’ by Johann Zoffany at Sotheby’s, London 1973 and subsequently by Frost & Reed, St James, London, where purchased by the former in whose private collection it remained until his death in 2017. 

Dimensions: (framed) 119cm x 151cm (47” x 59½”)

Dimensions: (canvas only) 97cm x 127cm (38” x 50”)

Presentation: Superb hand-carved giltwood Chippendale design frame.

Condition: Very good. Newly professionally cleaned, restored, and re-varnished by Simon Gillespie Studio, Bond Street, London (as seen on BBC Television’s ‘Britain’s Lost Masterpieces’). Ready to hang. 

Date:  1769
Period:  Mid 18th century
Origin:  English
Medium: oil painting
Dimensions: 119 x 151 cm (46⁷/₈ x 59¹/₂ x 3 inches)

By descent through the family to Colonel Bradney (great-grandson of Sir John
Hopkins) of Talycoed Court, Monmouthshire; remnants of Royal Academy exhibition
label verso; private collection of Lady Hopkins, 1920; private collection of Mrs
V.I. Hamilton; sold at auction by Sotheby’s, 28 November 1973, lot 44; with Frost
& Reed, London, where purchased by Mr Victor Lownes (1928-2017).


‘John Zoffany R.A. his life and works 1735-1810’ London, 1920 by V. Manners and G. Williamson.

‘The Boutflower Book’ by Douglas Samuel Boutflower, 1303-1930. p.58.

The following except is from ‘Johan Zoffany R.A. His life and works 1735-1810’ by Lady Victoria Manners and Dr. George Williamson:

“The room in which the group is represented is a typical London drawing-room of the
period, well-lit from a large window, having the tea equipage in full view and a harpsichord near at hand. Sir John Hopkins, the great-grandfather of the present owner, is the chief personage in it, and with him is his wife, his two sons, his three daughters and a friend, Dr. Boutflower. There is the customary round table, and as in the Willoughby de Broke picture and many others, the tea-things spread out upon it. One daughter is at the harpsichord, another turning over the music, the elder son stands near to the elegant mantelpiece, one sister by him and another near to her mother. It is just a family scene, quiet, simple and without pose, a charming pictorial record.”


According to the 1920 biography of Zoffany the painting debuted at the London exhibition of the British Society of Artists in 1769, catalogue number 359. In 1930 it formed part of the exhibition of English Conversation Pictures’ organised by the eminent art collector Sir Philip Sassoon that brought together 152 privately owned works at Sassoon’s residence 25 Park Lane.

Categories: Paintings, Drawings & Prints