H.A. Hanke (1901-1989)
oil on canvas
53.3 x 39.7 cm
Gift of Howard Hinton 1945
Born 1901, Sydney. Died 1989, Sydney.
Hinton wrote to Principal Newling of the Armidale Teachers' College when he donated Equestrienne, “I think this is the best portrait Hanke has done”. This is high praise, considering Hanke had entered 35 portraits in the Archibald competition up to the date of this donation in 1945. The half-length portrait depicts an unnamed lady in riding gear. She gazes at the viewer holding her riding crop up in two hands, the tilted hat shading one of her eyes. The dark hat, coat and background meld together, emphasising the cream gloves, cravat and the lady's face.
Henry Aloysius Hanke studied at the J.S. Watkins School, Sydney and in 1922, became an exhibiting member of the Royal Art Society of NSW, painting portraits, landscapes and still life. He won the Archibald Prize in 1934 for one of his self portraits, and the inaugural Sulman Prize in 1936.
Known as “Harry” to his friends, Hanke served in the Military History section of the Australian Imperial Force in WWII, during which time he completed many paintings in New Guinea. Howard Hinton was a big supporter of this artist, donating thirteen of his oil paintings over a decade to the Armidale Teachers' College.