Hunter, Robert (fl.1750-1780) (DNB00)

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HUNTER, ROBERT (fl. 1750–1780), portrait-painter, a native of Ulster, studied under the elder Pope, and had a considerable practice in Dublin about the middle of the eighteenth century. He modelled his tone of colouring on the painting of old masters. His portraits were excellent likenesses, if not of the first rank in painting. He had an extensive practice until the arrival of Robert Home [q.v.] in 1780, who attracted the leaders of fashion. Hunter took a prominent part in the foundation of the Dublin Society of Artists, and was a frequent contributor to their exhibitions in Dublin. Many of his portraits were engraved in mezzotint, including John, lord Naas (by W. Dickinson), Simon, earl Harcourt, now at Nuneham Park (by E. Fisher), Dr. Samuel Madden (by R. Purcell), John Wesley, painted in Dublin (by James Watson), and others. In the Mansion House at Dublin there is a portrait of the Earl of Buckinghamshire by Hunter. A portrait of Thomas Echlin is stated to have been etched as well as drawn by him.

[Sarsfield Taylor's State of Fine Arts in Great Britain and Ireland; Dodd's manuscript Hist. of English Engravers (Brit. Mus. Add. MS. 33402); Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Chaloner Smith's British Mezzotinto Portraits.]

L. C.