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Provenance

Painted for the sitter, the Hon. Sir Francis Nathaniel Pierpont Burton Conyngham [1766-1832], County Clare [Ireland]; by descent to his grandson William Conyngham Vandeleur Burton [1846-1919], Carrigaholt Castle, County Clare;[1] from whose estate it was sold to (Tooth Brothers), London, from whom it was purchased 16 March 1920 by (G.S. Sedgwick) for Thomas B. Clarke [1848-1931], New York, as by Gilbert Stuart;[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
1922
Portraits Painted in Europe by Early American Artists, The Union League Club, New York, January 1922, no. 6, as Sir Francis N. P. Conyngham by Gilbert Stuart.
1928
Portraits by Early American Artists of the Seventeenth, Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries, Collected by Thomas B. Clarke, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1928-1931, unnumbered and unpaginated catalogue, as Sir Francis N. P. Conyngham by Gilbert Stuart.
1968
Loan for display with the permanent collection, Boyhood Home of Robert E. Lee, Alexandria, Virginia, 1968-1986.
Bibliography
1926
Park, Lawrence. Gilbert Stuart. 4 vols. New York, 1926: 1:no. 182.
1970
American Paintings and Sculpture: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1970: 166, repro., as Honorable Sir Francis N. P. Burton (?).
1975
European Paintings: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1975: 48, repro., as Honorable Sir Francis N.P. Burton (?).
1980
American Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1980: 309, as Honorably Sir Francis N. P. Burton (?).
1985
European Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1985: 20, repro.
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: 304-305, repro. 304.
Technical Summary

The canvas is plain woven; it is unlined. The proprietary white ground is of moderate thickness. The composition is oval in format; the area outside the oval is painted in brown. The painting is executed in thin, fluid, opaque layers, blended wet into wet, with slight impasto in the reds and whites; the shading in the blue coat and the delineation of the feigned oval are accomplished with a gray glaze. There are pentimenti in the red collar, which has been shifted in position. The painting is in excellent condition. There is little loss or abrasion, and no areas of retouching. The natural resin varnish has not discolored.