Lot 67
  • 67

Thomas Gainsborough, R.A.

80,000 - 120,000 USD
106,250 USD
bidding is closed


  • Thomas Gainsborough, R.A.
  • Mrs. William Tennant, née Mary Wylde, seated in a landscape
  • oil on canvas
  • 49 1/2  by 40 in.; 125.7 by 101.6 cm.


Major William Tennant, Little Aston Hall, Staffordshire (d. 1803);
By descent to his son, William Tennant, Little Aston Hall (1783 - 1835);
By descent to his son, William Tennant, Little Aston Hall (d. 1848);
By descent to his brother, Captain Charles Edmund Tennant, Needwood House, Staffordshire (d.1862);
By descent to his son, Major Charles Richard Tennant, Needwood House and St. Anne's Manor, Sutton Bonnington, Nottinghamshire (b. 1851);
With Charles Wertheimer, London;
There acquired by J. Pierpont Morgan, London and New York (1837-1913), on 19 April 1902 for £30,000;
By descent in 1917 to his daughter, Mrs. William Pierson (née Juliet P. Morgan) Hamilton (1870-1952);
With Scott & Fowles, New York;
There acquired by Jules S. Bache, New York (1861-1944), in 1928 for $60,000;
By whom bequeathed to the Bache Foundation;
From which acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, in 1945 (inv. no. 45.59.1). 


London, Thomas Agnew & Sons, Ltd., Ninth Annual Exhibition, 1903, no. 23 (lent by J. Pierpont Morgan);
Manchester, City Art Gallery, Loan Exhibition of Works by Early British Masters, 4 November 1909 - 1 January 1910, no. 33 (lent by J. Pierpont Morgan);
New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Collection of Paintings lent by J. Pierpont Morgan, 1913;
New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Loan Exhibition of the J. Pierpont Morgan Collection, 17 February 1914 - 28 May 1916, pp. 105-6;
New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, "The Bache Collection," 16 June - 30 September 1943, no. 55;
Little Rock, Arkansas Arts Center, Five Centuries of European Painting, 16 May - 26 October 1963, p. 34.


W. Roberts, "Mr. J. Pierpont Morgan's Pictures: The Early English School, II," Connoisseur vol. XVI, November 1906, p. 143;
W. Roberts in Pictures in the Collection of J. Pierpont Morgan at Princes Gate & Dover House, London, vol. I, London 1907, unpaginated, reproduced;
B. Burroughs, "A Loan Exhibition of Mr. Morgan's Paintings," Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, vol. VIII, January 1913, p. 12 (reprinted as pamphlet, "Collection of Paintings Lent by J. Pierpont Morgan," at least 7 eds., p. 10);
Guide to the Loan Exhibition of the J. Pierpont Morgan Collection, exhibition catalogue, New York 1914, pp. 105–6;
É. Brandus, "La collection des tableaux anciens de M. Jules S. Bache, à New-York," La Renaissance de l'art, vol. XI, no. 5, May 1928, pp. 181, 184, reproduced p. 197;
W. Heil, "The Jules Bache Collection," Art News, vol. XXVII, no. 30, 27 April 1929, p. 4;
A Catalogue of Paintings in the Collection of Jules S. Bache, New York 1929, unpaginated, reproduced;
A. L. Mayer, "Die Sammlung Jules Bache in New-York," Pantheon, December 1930, p. 542;
A Catalogue of Paintings in the Bache Collection, New York 1937, cat. no. 56;
H. B. Wehle, "The Bache Collection on Loan," Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, vol. I, no. 10, June 1943, p. 290;
A Catalogue of Paintings in the Bache Collection, rev. ed., New York 1943, cat. no. 55, reproduced;
An American Correspondent, "English Portraits in the Jules Bache Collection," Connoisseur 113, March-June 1944, p. 52;
E. K. Waterhouse, "Preliminary Check List of Portraits by Thomas Gainsborough," Walpole Society 33, 1953, p. 104;
E. K. Waterhouse, Gainsborough, London 1958, p. 92, cat. no. 658;
K. Baetjer, European Paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, A Summary Catalogue, New York 1980, vol. I, p. 67, reproduced vol. II, p. 259;
J. Holloway, Treasures of Fyvie, exhibition catatalogue, Edinburgh 1985, p. 45, under cat. no. 12;
J. Strouse, Morgan: American Financier, New York 1999, pp. 489–90;
K. Baetjer, British Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1575–1875, New York 2009, pp. 108–9, cat. no. 48, reproduced. 

Eugene Tilly, 1904.

Catalogue Note

Mary Wylde married Major William Tennant of Little Aston Hall and Shenstone, Staffordshire, in 1777 and with him had a son, William, in 1783.  Gainsborough also painted Major Tennant, in a portrait now at Fyvie Castle;1 the pair of pictures were likely completed in the mid-1780s, when Tennant was a major in the Staffordshire militia.  Mrs. Tennant died in London in 1798.

This elegant portrait has an illustrious provenance, descending in the Tennant family with its pendant until 1902, when it was purchased by the American banker and industrialist John Pierpont Morgan, one of the most important collectors in America at the time. It was later in the collection of another notable American banker and collector, Jules S. Bache, who was a major supporter of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  His foundation ultimately sold the picture to the Museum in 1945.

The painting will be included in Hugh Belsey's forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the portraits of the artist. 

1. 52 by 42 in., The Forbes-Leith Collection, Fyvie Castle, see J. Holloway under Literature, no. 12.