National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Master John Heathcote Thomas Gainsborough (artist)
British, 1727 - 1788
Master John Heathcote, c. 1771/1772
oil on canvas
overall: 127 x 101.2 cm (50 x 39 13/16 in.) framed: 159.4 x 133.3 cm (62 3/4 x 52 1/2 in.)
Given in memory of Governor Alvan T. Fuller by The Fuller Foundation, Inc.
1961.2.1
On View
From the Tour: British and American Grand Manner Portraits of the 1700s
Object 2 of 12

Gainsborough, who never left England, devised an idiosyncratic style of rapidly improvised brushstrokes of multicolored paint, evident in his Master John Heathcote. This portrait, commissioned as a keepsake by aristocratic parents who recently had lost all their other children to an epidemic, shows the four- or five-year-old boy clutching wild flowers to suggest innocence.

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