Feb 27, 2020
May 18, 2009
Feb 27, 2020
May 18, 2009

Portrait of George Pitt, First Baron Rivers

Portrait of George Pitt, First Baron Rivers


Thomas Gainsborough

(British, 1727–1788)

Oil on canvas

Framed: 261 x 181 x 9 cm (102 3/4 x 71 1/4 x 3 9/16 in.); Unframed: 234.3 x 154.3 cm (92 1/4 x 60 3/4 in.)

Gift of the John Huntington Art and Polytechnic Trust 1971.2

Did you know?

Gainsborough was famous for his portraits, but he especially loved painting landscapes.


Although George Pitt reputedly led a life of debauchery and was a cruel husband, Thomas Gainsborough’s portrait endows him with an aura of dignity and refinement. This work was painted between Pitt’s appointments as ambassador to Turin, Italy, and Madrid, Spain, but he is very much the English gentleman at home on his country estate. Gainsborough balances the deep scarlet and green facing of Pitt’s military uniform with the cool, woodland landscape painted with wide, liquid brushstrokes of mauves, grays, and silvers.

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