THOMAS GAINSBOROUGH, R.A. | Portrait of John Richards, three-quarter-length, wearing a green coat and holding a tricorn hat
Estimate: 30,000 - 50,000 GBP
THOMAS GAINSBOROUGH, R.A.
Sudbury 1727 - 1788 London
Portrait of John Richards, three-quarter-length, wearing a green coat and holding a tricorn hat
oil on canvas
127.1 x 99 cm.; 50 x 39 in.
The canvas is lined, the paint surface is clean and the varnish is clear and even. Inspection under ultraviolet light reveals concentrated retouching along the left and right margins and extensive retouching throughout the background and the sitter's face, collar and the lapels of his jacket and through parts of his arms, chest, breeches and hat. These are all formed of very fine, meticulous lines with some more concentrated areas in the upper left and right corners. These have all been sensitively executed and the paintings is ready to hang in its current state.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
Miss Catherine Heaslop, Isle of Wight, by 1949;
Anonymous sale, London, Sotheby's, 7 July 1965, lot 113, where acquired by the father of the present owner.
Sudbury, Gainsborough's House, on loan 2001–02.
E.K. Waterhouse, 'Check list of portraits by Thomas Gainsborough. Identified portraits', in The Walpole Society, vol. XXXIII, Oxford 1953, p. 91;
On the House: The newsletter of Gainsborough's House Society and the Friends of Gainsborough's House, Issue 42, January 2002, p. 4, reproduced (detail);
H. Belsey, Thomas Gainsborough. The portraits, fancy pictures and copies after Old Masters, New Haven and London 2019, vol. 2, pp. 711–12, cat. no. 769, reproduced in colour p. 712.
Painted in Bath, circa 1763, the sitter has tentatively been identified as the cabinet maker, John Richards (d.1773), who lived in Holborn before moving to 16 Kensington Square in 1760. The artist made a number of alterations during the gestation of the portrait, including to the cuffs, which were originally much wider, and the waistcoat, which was shorter, with the hem cut at a sharper angle.