The sitter was the wife of Thomas Butcher, son of Robert Butcher who was steward to Gainsborough's famous patron, John, 4th Duke of Bedford (1710-1771). In 1759 Thomas followed his father's profession as agent of the Duke of Bedford's Oakley estate in Shropshire, and later became responsible for all the Russell estates in North Bedfordshire. The present portrait, together with that of her husband, Thomas, was painted in Bath in 1772. Gainsborough's portrait of Robert Butcher, painted around 1765, hangs in the Prado, Madrid.
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