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Provenance

George Agar-Ellis, 1st Baron Dover [1797-1833];[1] by descent to his granddaughter, the Hon. Lilah Agar-Ellis, later Lady Annaly [1862-1944], until c. 1922. (M. Knoedler & Co., London and New York); sold January 1922 to Andrew W. Mellon, Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C.; gift to his daughter, Ailsa Mellon Bruce [1901-1969], New York, by 1937; bequest 1970 to NGA.

Exhibition History
1867
National Portraits, South Kensington Museum, London, 1867, no. 470.
1885
The Works of Thomas Gainsborough, R.A., Grosvenor Gallery, London, 1885, no. 40.
Bibliography
1903
Gower, Lord Ronald Sutherland. Thomas Gainsborough. London, 1903: repro. opp. 66.
1953
Waterhouse, Ellis Kirkham. "Preliminary Check List of Portraits by Thomas Gainsborough." Walpole Society 33 (1953): 29.
1975
European Paintings: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1975: 144, repro.
1985
European Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1985: 140, 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: 66-68, repro. 67.
Technical Summary

The fine canvas is plain woven; it has been lined. The picture has been very slightly enlarged by lining; there is a one-quarter-inch band of repaint along the left and bottom edges, and a thin border of retouching along the other edges. The ground is white, of moderate thickness. The painting is executed in very rich, fluid paint, applied first in thin washes, then increasingly opaquely, with some impasto in the highlights. The paint surface has been slightly flattened during lining. The large proportion of medium used resulted in traction crackle on drying, which has been retouched in the darks and in the face of the duchess. The recent natural resin varnish, lightly pigmented with black, has discolored yellow slightly.