Thomas Gainsborough

An Officer of the 16th Light Dragoons

c.1765

Artist
Thomas Gainsborough 1727–1788
Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 737 x 597 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Bequeathed by Thomas Bruce Ismay 1963
Reference
T00642

Not on display

Display caption

The sitter is unknown, but the uniform has been identified as that worn by the 16th Light Dragoons between the years 1759 and 1766. This accords well with Gainborough's style of the early to mid 1760s, when he was working in Bath. There is a possibility that it might be Robert Williams (1745 - after 1775) who was a Lieutenant in the 16th Light Dragoons in 1762, Captain in 1768, Major in 1773, and who left the Army when he married Anne Leigh of Ivor in 1775. A nineteenth-century identification of he sitter as General James Wolfe is untenable.

Gallery label, August 2004

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