Thomas Hanmer was not only a well-connected member of England's aristocracy, but also a prominent horticulturist and writer. He served as Page and Cup-Bearer to Charles I and his wife was a Maid of Honor to Queen Henrietta Maria. In 1933 Hanmer's horticultural manuscript was rediscovered and published as The Garden Book of Sir Thomas Hanmer.
The present portrait has been previously inspected firsthand by John Hayes, Sir Oliver Millar and Christopher Brown who all confirmed the attribution to Gainsborough. Hugh Belsey does not support the attribution to Gainsborough based on photographs of the painting.
1. See S. J. Barnes et al., (under Literature) p. 518, cat. no. IV.III, reproduced.
2. J. Reynolds: Discourses on Art (London, 1778); ed. R. R. Wark (London, 1959/R New Haven and London, 1975) [14th discourse].
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