Sir Nathaniel Dance-Holland

Thomas Nuthall with a Dog and Gun

Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 2242 x 1460 mm
frame: 2465 x 1693 x 110 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Bequeathed by Ernest E. Cook through the Art Fund 1955
Reference
T00053

Display caption

Thomas Nuthall (1715 - 1775) was solicitor to the East India Company and the Treasury, and legal adviser to William Pitt the elder. In 1772, however, he fell from favour on charges of malpractice. A passionate huntsman, he also held the post of Ranger of Enfield Chase. In this capacity he fought throughout the 1760s to save its oak woods from disafforestation. He is shown here in his Ranger's outfit, suitably posed beside an oak tree. He is in the process of loading his gun, one arm raised to guide the ramrod down the barrel. This was a pose much favoured by sporting gentry and artists alike as it introduced action and graceful movement into the conventional male full-length portrait.

Gallery label, August 2004