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Thomas Bernard was a social reformer who retired after a successful career in conveyancing and marriage to an heiress to become a philanthropist. Bernard was particularly concerned with promoting the welfare of the poor; he was Treasurer of the Foundling Hospital between 1795 and 1806 and also helped to found the Society for Bettering the Condition of the Poor. He was also active in founding an institution for the promotion of Fine Arts and the Royal Institution of Great Britain (Ri), where this painting hangs.
oil on canvas
88 x 75 cm
gift from Dr Rushton Parker, 1930