'Sir Robert Clayton' Thomas Gainsborough, 1769
Oil on canvas, 127 x 101cm
Accession Number WAG 2579
In 1769 Sir Robert Clayton had just succeeded to a Baronetcy. This portrait may have been commissioned to commemorate this. Sir Robert lived in Surrey and was MP for Bletchingley.
Despite Gainsborough's expert handling of paint, this is a fairly routine commission. It is typical of the kind of portrait by which many artists made their bread and butter. It is straightforward, uncomplicated and unambiguous - exactly what those being painted usually wanted.