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Question
Please can you tell me if there is a way of finding out the NAME of the lady  riding side saddle, she is wearing  a navy blue outfit with a tricorn hat and a single fox hound dog. I have reproduced the outfit for a period costume side saddle riding class  and need to do a resume for the commentator. The painting is called Sporting Elegance. (similar paintings are a hunting morn and drawing cover - similar period  but different hats) all by Heywood Hardy. I would be grateful if you could let me know if there is a way of finding out further information. Thank you so much.

Answer
Hi Jane,

I think this one will be near impossible. I expect she was a model and the information probably not recorded. Heywood Hardy did once paint Osbert Sitwell's mother Ida, but sadly this isn't her!

There's a small chance that it could be the artist's daughter Mabel Hardy who married Somerset Maugham's elder brother Charlie - however this is pure speculation.

There was an essay written by Brian Stewart for British Sporting Art Trust - it's difficult to get hold of, but there is a copy in the National Art Library which is based upstairs in the Victoria & Albert Museum.

http://catalogue.nal.vam.ac.uk/ipac20/ipac.jsp?session=1Y1K66462329W.8757&profil

This is the pretty much the only published writing on Heywood Hardy (certainly the most extensive), apart from some contemporary accounts/reviews of exhibitions etc, so if the information exists (and I doubt it does), it's your last hope. The NAL have a photocopy service where they'll send you a copy for a small fee which will save you a visit.

Best wishes,
Tim

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Timothy Lawrence Williams MA (Hons)

Expertise

I can answer all questions on Fine Art, particularly the indentification of pictures (paintings, prints etc). My specialist areas are old master prints, printmaking, early Flemish painting, Dutch golden age painting, fin-de-siecle, Impressionism, Victorian, all British painting.

Experience

I've worked for the National Gallery, London and Brighton Museum & Art Gallery in research and curatorial capacities. I'm currently a director of Pieta Fine Art Ltd.

Publications
The Guardian

Education/Credentials
PhD Early Flemish painting (incomplete), MA History of Art, BA History of Art (Hons)

Awards and Honors
Neil MacGregor Scholarship

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