This information is ©
The Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery, University of Glasgow 2018
"Dr William Hunter"
ATTR MOSER, George Michael; (English; 1706 - 1783) AFTER CHAMBERLIN, Mason; (English; d.1787)
7.5 x 5.0 (oval)
ebonised miniature frame
This miniature portrait of Hunter was listed in the posthumous sale of the Moser, who was Keeper of the Royal Academy Schools. It is a copy of the three-quarter-length portrait of Hunter by Mason Chamberlin, which was Chamberlin's diploma work in 1769, and which hung in the Council Room of the Academy alongside portraits of Reynolds, Chambers and the King. Chamberlin shows Hunter standing at a rostrum, delivering a lecture. He is caught mid-sentence, with lips closing, and he clutches a bronze version of Spang's écorché figure which he is using to demonstrate an anatomical point.
This portrait, which Moser kept in his Keeper's apartment in Somerset House, is surely evidence of Moser's affection for Hunter. They must have met when Hunter first attended the St Martin's Lane Academy as anatomist in about 1750. Moser was 12 years Hunter's senior, and was an important teacher and advocate of drawing, having played a role in the St Martin's Lane Academy from as early as 1730. In Nollekens and his Times, J.T. Smith describes how Moser was adept at precise metal work and the teaching of drawing:
'…by the advice of his friend, Mr. Thomas Grignion, the celebrated watchmaker, [Moser] applied himself to enamelling watch-trinkets, necklaces, bracelets, &c. from which occupation he became an excellent enameller of larger and more eminent works. He drew remarkably well, and was successively at the head of several drawing schools, until at last he was elected Keeper of the Royal Academy on its foundation….'
Moser died in January 1783, a few months before Hunter, and his miniature portrait of Hunter seems to have been borrowed by the engraver J. Collyer, to make his obituary engraving. This was published 28 April 1783, and is the same size as, and takes its oval format from, Moser's enamel. Presented by Norman C. King, 1927.
HUNTER 2007 : MUSCLE MAN : ECORCHE : ANATOMICAL FIGURE : PROFESSOR OF ANATOMY : ROYAL ACADEMY : PORTRAIT : ON DISPLAY :