N04690 ADMIRAL SIR CHARLES THOMPSON, BART. 1774
Oil on canvas, 50 × 40 (127 × 101.8)
Bequeathed by Sir Edward Stern to the National Gallery, with life interest to his widow, 1933. Transferred to the Tate Gallery 1979
Prov: ...; Agnew's; Sir Edward Stern by 1933.
Lit: J.E. Wessely, Richard Earlom, Hamburg, 1886, no.53; E.K. Waterhouse, Gainsborough, 1958, p.92, no.664, pl.161.
An engraving of 1800 by Richard Earlom states that the picture was painted in 1774, the year Gainsborough moved from Bath to London. The sitter is shown in three-quarter length, leaning against a rock, with sea and ships in the background. He is wearing a captain's uniform and holds a telescope in his left hand. Admiral Thompson (c.1740–1799) was promoted Captain in 1772, Rear-Admiral 1794 and Vice-Admiral 1795; he was made a baronet in 1797.
The Tate Gallery 1978-80: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1981