Property from a European Private Collection
THOMAS GAINSBOROUGH, R.A.
Sudbury 1727-1788 London
Portrait of J. Dudley, half-length, wearing a long bob wig and in a grey coat
inscribed on the reverse of the canvas: J. Dudley
oil on canvas
76.2 x 63.5 cm.; 30 x 25 in.
The canvas is lined, the paint surface is clean, and the varnish is clear and even. Inspection under ultraviolet light reveals very fine lines of retouching throughout the sitter's face and hair to reduce the appearance of craquelure, and this also extends to the background, particularly to the left above his head., and in broader strokes along the right-hand side. There are pin-prick retouchings scattered in his coat, and broader strokes strengthening the outline of his silhouette and sleeves. There is what appears to be an area in his lower chest approx. 5 x 8cm. where the varnish has been removed. In overall good condition. Offered in a carved and gilt wood frame with minor losses. Hugh Belsey (see Literature) believes the fame to be probably original to the canvas.
"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".
Anonymous sale, London, Bonhams, 25 May 1961, lot 22 where purchased by Sabin;
With Sidney Sabin, London;
From whom purchased by Henri-Philippe Crombé (1904–69), Brussels, by 1963;
Thence by descent to the present owner.
J. Hayes, 'Some Unknown Early Gainsborough Portraits', in The Burlington Magazine, February 1965, vol. 107, no. 743, pp. 69 and 74, cat. no. 3;
H. Belsey, Thomas Gainsborough, vol. I, New Haven and London 2019, p. 270, cat. no. 277, reproduced.