Oil on canvas
127 x 100 cm (50 x 39 3/8 in.)
John L. Severance Fund 2017.100
The handful of small-scale, full-length portraits Wright painted early in his career include his earliest experiments in landscape painting.
Assuming a relaxed but commanding pose, Colonel Charles Heathcote (1734–1797) stands beside a large oak tree in the foreground of an expansive landscape. He wears military dress, the single epaulette on his right shoulder designating his rank as colonel. Wright’s composition demonstrates his new-found fascination with landscape: while the figure is relatively smoothly painted, the landscape is painted far more energetically, using thickly applied daubs of color.
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