William Pitt (1759-1806) Prime Minister

  • About the work
    Location
    Country: UK
    City: London
    Place: Cabinet Office, 70 Whitehall

    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.
  • Explore
    People
    Pitt, William
    Places
    Materials & Techniques
    canvas, oil, oil painting
  • Details
    Title
    William Pitt (1759-1806) Prime Minister
    Date
    Medium
    Oil on canvas
    Dimensions
    height: 76.00 cm, width: 63.50 cm
    Acquisition
    Purchased from H F Collins & Co. Ltd, October 1975
    Inscription
    none
    Provenance
    With H. F. Collins & Co.; from whom purchased by the Department of the Environment in October 1975
    GAC number
    12055