on strainer replacing original stretcher in brown ink: Leut. Govnr: William Gooch
(Rose M. [Mrs. Augustus] de Forest, New York); sold 20 November 1929 to Thomas B. Clarke [1848-1931], New York, as a portrait of Sir William Gooch by Charles Bridges; 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.
The medium-fine canvas is loosely plain woven; it has been lined, but the tacking margins survive intact. The ground is warm ocher, of moderate thickness, masking the weave of the canvas. A deep reddish imprimatura is locally applied under the head as a basis for the flesh tones. The painting is broadly executed in thin, opaque layers with smoothly blended brushstrokes; there is thicker paint, with slight impasto, in the highlights. The painting is in excellent condition. The paint surface is not abraded and there are no significant losses. The natural resin varnish has discolored only slightly.
- Weddell, Alexander Wilbourne, ed. Virginia Historical Portraiture 1585-1830. Richmond, 1930: 168, repro. 167.
- American Paintings and Sculpture: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1970: 172, repro., as by European of Unknown Nationality.
- American Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1980: 306, as by Unknown [Formerly Considered American].
- European Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1985: 409, repro., as by Unknown Nationality 18th Century.
- Hayes, John. British Paintings of the Sixteenth through Nineteenth Centuries. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1992: 248-250, repro. 249.