George Hughes, fl. 1813 - 1858
Portrait of Elizabeth Torrance, née Fisher (1794 - 1862)
Portrait of Elizabeth Torrance, née Fisher

signed "G Hughes/Pinx"

oil on canvas
30 x 25 in. (76 x 64 cm.)


by descent from the Torrance Family


It is likely that this portrait was painted on one of the many occaissions when John and Elisabeth visited their small estate in John's native Scotland known as the 'Gatehouse'. Thye also educated all his sons in England and made visits there frequently.

Elizabeth was Daughter of Duncan Fisher, a Montreal merchant, and Catherine Elizabeth Fisher, she had 15 children including ; Jane Torrance; Selina Fraser; Daniel Torrance; James Torrance; John Andrew Torrance and 10 others . She ws Sister of Janet Hicks; Daniel Fisher; Margaret Margerat Hutchinson; John Fisher; Catherine Fisher and 5 others. All 15 children lived to adulthood; among their sons-in-law were Liverpool merchants and Alexander Tilloch Galt*. Their eldest child, Jane (1812–1875), married her first cousin and the business partner of her father, David Torrance, President of the Bank of Montreal. Their third child, Daniel (1815–1885), married Sophia Vanderbilt, daughter of the 'Commodore', Cornelius Vanderbilt, and they were the parents of Mrs Frederick William Vanderbilt. Their tenth child, Elliot (1828–1850), married Sir Alexander Tilloch Galt, and after her death Galt married Elliot's younger sister, Amy Florence Torrance (d.1936).

Elizabeth married John Torrnace , aged 25 on the 28th May 1811. He had been in Canada for 4 years having emigrated from Scotand. Their marriage contract allowed her £1,000 should she outlive him, an indication that he was already prospering.

McGill University including was endowed with a fund for a gold medal in law as a memorial to his wife and this medal is still given out today.

Artist biography

George Hughes exhibited 67 paintings at the Royal Academy, he worked and lived in London. among his sitters was the actress Miss Ellen Tree. he praciticed as a portrait painter and miniaturist.