Thomas Gainsborough, R.A.
PORTRAIT OF EDWARD WILLES (1723-1787), THREE-QUARTER LENGTH, WEARING JUDGE'S ROBES AND WIG
oil on canvas
53 1/2 by 43 3/8 in.; 136 by 110.2 cm.
By descent in the sitter's family to his great grandson George Willes (1841-1927);
His sale, London, Christie's, 26 May 1894, lot 78, for 360 Guineas, to Colnaghi;
Possibly from whom acquired by Colonel George Dudley Smith of Earle's Croome or acquired by his son, Osbert Dudley Smith (b. 1898), at a later date;
Thence by descent until 1979;
By whom sold ("Property of a Lady"), London, Christie's, 23 November 1979, lot 107;
Anonymous sale ("Property of a Gentleman"), London, Sotheby's, 19 November 1986, lot 57;
With Thomas Agnew & Sons, London;
With Richard L. Feigen & Co., New York;
From whom acquired by the present collector.
Birmingham, United Kingdom, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Works of Art from Midland Houses, 18 July - 6 September 1953, no. 29.
D'Anvers, Thomas Gainsborough: A record of his life and works, London 1897, p. 115;
W. Armstrong, Gainsborough and his Place in English Art, London & New York 1898, p. 204;
O. Barron, Northamptonshire Families,London 1906, reproduced p. 348;
E. Waterhouse, "Preliminary Checklist of Portraits by Thomas Gainsborough", in Walpole Society, vol. XXXIII, Oxford 1953, p. 113;
E. Waterhouse, Gainsborough, London 1958, p. 96, cat. no. 724, reproduced, plate 233.
The Portrait Surveyed: British Portraiture 1670 – 1870, exhibition catalogue, London 1980, p. 4, cat. no. 2.
J. Ingamells, "Current and Forthcoming Exhibitions", in The Burlington Magazine, vol. CXXII, no. 927, London 1980, p. 444.