Mary Heber (1787-1846): Old Master Drawings
These sensitive drawings dating from 1817-18 focus on details of old master works from the Dutch Golden Age and Italian Renaissance - including Rembrandt, Adriaen van de Velde and Annibale Carracci, amongst others. It is probable that the artist is Mary Heber (1787-1846) of Hodnet Hall in Shropshire; a number of the drawings are annotated as being drawn from access to the original master drawings. Mary Heber was daughter of the wealthy cleric and landowner Rev. Reginald Heber (d.1804), who was a man of some intellectual power and who had been fellow and tutor of Brasenose College, Oxford. Her brother was the celebrated English bishop, traveller, man of letters and hymn-writer, Reginald Heber (1783-1826), who became Bishop of Calcutta; and her half brother, Richard Heber (1773-1833), was a book-collector, who amassed a superb library estimated at nearly 150,000 volumes. Mary Heber’s three daughters, Mary, Victoria and Hester, were also all talented artists who, it seems, inherited their aptitude from their mother.