William Pitt (1759-1806) Prime Minister
About the work
William Pitt the younger is dressed in a dark blue coat with brass buttons and a white neckcloth. He also has powdered hair. This portrait of the former Prime Minister is copied from a work by Gainsborough Dupont, the nephew of Thomas Gainsborough. It is one of numerous portraits of Pitt by Dupont, which are all thought to be based on an earlier, original, which Pitt sat for, painted by Gainsborough himself. However, Gainsborough’s portrait is now untraced. Another version by Dupont is held in the Government Art Collection.
About the artist
Gainsborough Dupont was born in Suffolk, the son of a carpenter. He was the nephew of Thomas Gainsborough and was apprenticed to his uncle in Bath. In 1775 Gainsborough and Dupont relocated to London, where Dupont enrolled at the Royal Academy Schools. He made mezzotints and small-scale copies after his uncle’s paintings. After Gainsborough’s death in 1788, Dupont continued to work from his uncle’s studio. The similarity of his work to that of Gainsborough has caused problems of attribution. Dupont worked in the manner of his uncle into the 1790s, but also made original portraits in a more personal style and, from 1790, exhibited at the Royal Academy. In 1793 he moved his studio to Grafton Street. He died at about the age of 42.
- William Pitt (1759-1806) Prime Minister
- Oil on canvas
- height: 76.00 cm, width: 63.50 cm
- Purchased from H F Collins & Co. Ltd, October 1975
- With H. F. Collins & Co.; from whom purchased by the Department of the Environment in October 1975
- GAC number