Richard Humphreys, the Boxer

John Hoppner British

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 628

Boxing fascinated late eighteenth-century British artists and writers, providing a spectacle that combined violence with beautiful bodies. Humphreys’s manager commissioned this portrait in advance of a celebrated match, and the painting circulated widely in printed reproductions. Hoppner depicted the young boxer on the turf in his defensive stance, wearing breeches, silk stockings, and pumps. Bouts were fought with bare fists at this time, increasing their brutality.

Richard Humphreys, the Boxer, John Hoppner (British, London 1758–1810 London), Oil on canvas

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