Thomas Gainsborough R.A.
- Thomas Gainsborough R.A.
- Portrait of Admiral Lord Graves, 1st Baron Graves of Gravesend
- Inscribed on a letter on the table: Rear Admiral Graves.../Plymo.../Admiralty...
- Oil on canvas
Sale: Christie’s, London, July 6, 1923, lot 6 (sold by the above and bought back)
Ida Louisa Robinson, Princess Labia (died 1961) (daughter of the above)
Count Natale A.D. Labia (son of the above)
Sale: Sotheby's, London, November 16, 1988, lot 60 (sold by the above)
Acquired at the above sale by A. Alfred Taubman
London, Royal Academy, The Robinson Collection, 1958, no. 28
Zurich, Kunsthaus, Sammlung Sir Joseph Robinson 1840-1929, Werke europäischer Malerei vom 15. bis 19. Jahrhundert, 1962, no. 56
R.R.Tatlock, “The Robinson Pictures at Christie’s,” The Burlington Magazine, vol. XLIII, July-December 1923, p. 34
Ellis K. Waterhouse, “A Preliminary check list of Portraits by Thomas Gainsborough,” Walpole Society, 1948-1950, vol. XXXIII, 1953, p. 51
Ellis K. Waterhouse, Gainsborough, London, 1958, p. 71, no. 324
Gainsborough’s portrait of Graves was begun in 1785 and finished in 1786 when it was exhibited at Schomberg House in Pall Mall where the artist had been living and working upon leaving Bath in 1774. Following disagreements with the Royal Academy over the hanging of his pictures, Gainsborough began to have annual exhibitions of his work in his studio at Schomberg House. Like The Blue Page, also by Gainsborough (see lot 64), this portrait was in the famous collection of Sir Joseph Robinson and included in the sale of his property in 1923 in London. At the last minute he had regrets about his decision to sell and proceeded to buy back most of the items in the auction, including this portrait. It was inherited by his daughter Ida, Princess Labia, and passed to her son before it was sold again at auction in 1988.
This painting will be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the works of Thomas Gainsborough by Hugh Belsey.