About this artwork

Gainsborough's full-length portrait of 4th Duke of Argyll shows him in his magnificent peer's robes, a perfect subject for the artist's dazzling brushwork. The Duke rests one hand on his coronet and in the other holds the baton of Hereditary Master of the King's Household. He wears the splendid chain of the Order of the Thistle. He inherited the dukedom when he was sixty-seven, having had a distinguished career as a soldier. In 1745 he defended the west of Scotland against Prince Charles Edward Stewart's ('Bonnie Prince Charlie's') forces, and in 1746 succeeded the Duke of Cumberland as commander in Scotland.

Thomas Gainsborough

Thomas Gainsborough