Painted for the Reverend George Hill [1750-1819], St. Andrews, Scotland; by descent to John Sheriff Hill [d. 1900], Dingwall, Inverness; (sale, Fraser, Inverness, 1900); bought by (Wallis & Son, London); (M. Knoedler & Co., New York), by 1911; purchased by 1925 by Andrew W. Mellon, Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C.; gift by 1937 to his daughter, Ailsa Mellon Bruce [1901-1969], New York; bequest 1970 to NGA.
- Paintings by Old Masters from Pittsburgh Collections, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, 1925, no. 58.
- Armstrong, Sir Walter. Sir Henry Raeburn. London, 1901: 104.
- Greig, James. Sir Henry Raeburn, R.A.: His Life and His Works. London, 1911: 48.
- European Paintings: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1975: 278, repro.
- Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. New York, 1975: 370, no. 527, color repro.
- European Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1985: 323, repro.
- Hayes, John. British Paintings of the Sixteenth through Nineteenth Centuries. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1992: 196-197, repro. 197.
The medium-weight canvas is twill woven; it has been lined. The ground is white, of moderate thickness. The painting is executed in very fluid and thin layers, blended wet into wet; the forms are vaguely blocked, only the features being crisply defined. Most of the picture surface has been solvent abraded; the texture has been flattened and the weave of the canvas impressed into the surface during lining. There is considerable retouching throughout the figure and lower background. The thickly and unevenly applied natural resin varnish, toned with carbon black, has discolored gray to a significant degree.