T01888 A Gentleman in Brown c.1750
Oil on canvas 765×639 (30 1/8×25 1/8)
Bequeathed by Alan Evans to the National Gallery 1974; transferred to the Tate Gallery 1974
PROVENANCE ...;? Sotheby's 12 December 1951 (81) bt D. Guerault; ...; Alan Evans by 1974
The painting came to the gallery with an ascription to Thomas Hudson and the identification of the sitter as a ‘member of the Foley Gray family’, neither of which can be substantiated (the compiler is grateful to Ellen G. Miles and Jacob Simon, who both confirmed that the attribution to Hudson was untenable). Among the numerous family portraits attributed to Hudson in the sale of Sir John Foley Gray, Bart, of Enville Hall, Stourbridge (Christie's 15 June 1928) none corresponds with this in size. Moreover, should the painting be identical with the one which fits its description in the Sotheby's sale of 1951 (‘Thomas Hudson: A Gentleman, half-length, wearing a brown coat, gold edged, his left hand resting in his waist-coat, his hat beneath his arm, 29 1/2×24 1/2 in.’) then any connection with the Foley Grey family would seem unlikely.
Stylistically the painting fits well into Hoare's oeuvre after he settled in Bath in 1739, and the attribution is accepted by Mrs Evelyn Newby, who is compiling a catalogue of Hoare's works.
Elizabeth Einberg and Judy Egerton, The Age of Hogarth: British Painters Born 1675-1709, Tate Gallery Collections, II, London 1988