Sir Capel Molyneux (1717-1797) of Castle Dillon, Co. Armagh, succeeded his elder brother as 3rd Baronet in 1738. It is likely that the portrait
was painted soon afterwards to mark this event - so the later inscription may record its correct date. The sitter holds a paper inscribed ‘Plan of Improvements’, perhaps to suggest his lofty aspirations in public life. Molyneux was Member of Parliament for Dublin University 1769-76. Latham was the leading Irish portrait painter of the early eighteenth century. He studied in Antwerp in the 1720s and brought back a sense of lively Baroque
, bold and colourful brushwork.