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Provenance

Perhaps (Copley Gallery, Boston). (Robert C. Vose, Boston); sold 21 August 1930 to Thomas B. Clarke [1848-1931], New York, as a portrait of Robert Auchmuty by Joseph Badger;[1] sold by Clarke's executors to (M. Knoedler & Co., New York), from whom it was purchased 29 January 1936, as part of the Clarke collection, by The A.W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust, Pittsburgh; gift to NGA, 1947.

Exhibition History
1930
Colonial Portraits, Robert C. Vose Galleries, Boston, 1930, no. 6.
Bibliography
1957
Sellers, Charles Coleman. "Mezzotint Prototypes of Colonial Portraiture." The Art Quarterly 20 (1957): no. 14B, repro.
1970
American Paintings and Sculpture: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1970: 158, repro., as Portrait of a Man by American (?).
1980
American Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1980: 306, as Portrait of a Man by Unknown [Formerly Considered American].
1985
European Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1985: 408, repro., as Portrait of a Man by Unknown Nationality 18th Century.
1992
Hayes, John. British Paintings of the Sixteenth through Nineteenth Centuries. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1992: 312-313, repro. 313.
Technical Summary

The medium-weight canvas is finely plain woven; a strip of material has been added top and bottom: that at the top extremely irregular, varying from 5/8 to 1 1/8 in., that at the bottom approximately 1 in. deep; the canvas has been lined. The ground is white, smoothly applied, and of moderate thickness. There is a warm gray imprimatura. The painting is executed thinly and loosely, in opaque layers, blended wet into wet, with details of features added more crisply. The paint surface is abraded, especially in the darks, and there are numerous small losses; overpaint was removed in 1964, but the damages exposed were not compensated. The moderately thick natural resin varnish, which has discolored yellow slightly, appears to have been thinned, and to have been largely removed over the face and hands; a unifying layer of synthetic varnish was subsequently applied.