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'Sir Robert Clayton' Thomas Gainsborough, 1769

A richly dressed man is looking out of the painting.

Oil on canvas, 127 x 101cm

Accession Number WAG 2579

In 1769 Sir Robert Clayton had just succeeded to a Baronetcy. This portrait may have been commissioned to commemorate this. Sir Robert lived in Surrey and was MP for Bletchingley.

Despite Gainsborough's expert handling of paint, this is a fairly routine commission. It is typical of the kind of portrait by which many artists made their bread and butter. It is straightforward, uncomplicated and unambiguous - exactly what those being painted usually wanted.