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Jeffrey Amherst, 1st Baron Amherst

14 of 262 portraits by Thomas Gainsborough

Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Jeffrey Amherst, 1st Baron Amherst

by Thomas Gainsborough
circa 1780
29 7/8 in. x 24 7/8 in. (760 mm x 631 mm)
NPG 150

This portraitback to top

NPG 150 is a replica of the portrait in the Mead Art Museum, Amherst College, Amherst Mass., which descended from the Amherst family. [1] The uniform is very sketchily painted.

Footnotesback to top

1) Christie’s, 12 February 1932, lot 96; Mead Art Museum (P1940.5); exhibited The Grand Tradition, British Art from Amherst College, Miami Beach, etc, 1988-89 (7).

Referenceback to top

Waterhouse 1953
E. K. Waterhouse, ‘Preliminary Check List of Portraits by Thomas Gainsborough’, Wal. Soc., XXXIII, 1953, p 3.

Waterhouse 1958
E. K. Waterhouse, Gainsborough, 1958, no.15.

Physical descriptionback to top

Pale grey eyes, powdered wig, wearing the ribbon and star of the Bath and the uniform of a full general of c.1784:1 red coat with two epaulettes, black facings and gold lace and buttons; cream waistcoat, his black hat beneath his arm. Within a painted oval.

1 Note from Maj. N. P. Dawnay, 1951: ‘uniform of a full general of c.1784 buttons evenly spaced and two epaulettes; only full generals had two epaulettes before 1791’; and see Dawnay, Journal of the Society for Art Historical Research, XXI, 126, 1953, p 73.

Provenanceback to top

Bequeathed by the sitter to Mair, his private secretary;1 by descent to Maj. Arthur Mair, Edinburgh, from whom purchased 1862.

1 Letter from J. Gibson-Craig, 8 July 1862 (NPG archive).

Reproductionsback to top

J. Scott 1874.


This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Ingamells, National Portrait Gallery: Mid-Georgian Portraits 1760-1790, National Portrait Gallery, 2004, and is as published then. For the most up-to-date details on individual Collection works, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text.

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