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Called 'Colonel Isaac Gale'

Sir Joshua Reynolds PRA (Plympton 1723 - London 1792)

Category

Art / Oil paintings

Date

circa 1763

Materials

Oil on canvas

Measurements

762 x 635 mm (30 x 25 in)

Place of origin

England

Order this image

Collection

Montacute House, Somerset

NT 597959

Summary

Oil painting on canvas, Called 'Colonel Isaac Gale' by Sir Joshua Reynolds PRA (1723-1792), circa 1763. An oval portrait of a young man, head and shoulders, turned slightly to left, head facing, gazing at spectator, powdered wig, pale complexion, wearing a plum-coloured coat, a black wig ribbon lying over his lace ruffles. Nothing is known of the sitter (which the portrait was only called when auctioned in 1935), nor is recoreded in Reynolds's Pocket Book or Ledgers. A payment of 20 guineas (the price of a 30 x 25 in. portrait in 1759) was, however, made by a 'Mr Gale' (and the sitter is in civilan, not military, dress) in 1763 - the year for which Reynold's Pocket Book is missing, but in which he painted Susanna Gale, subsequently Mrs Turner and then Lady Gardner (National Portrait Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; copy at Clandon Park (NT). Her father was Francis Gale of Liguanea, Jamaica, and that is probably who he is.

Provenance

Anon. sale Sotheby's 17 July 1935, lot 153; bought and beqeathed by Sir Percy Malcolm Stewart (1871-1951) to the National Trust and transferred to Montacute House, 1960 after the death of Lady Stewart.

Credit line

Montacute House, The Malcolm Stewart Bequest (National Trust)

Marks and inscriptions

Recto: Small gilt tablet, affixed to centre bottom of frame, inscribed:

Makers and roles

Sir Joshua Reynolds PRA (Plympton 1723 - London 1792), artist

References

Graves and Cronin 1899-1901 Algernon Graves and W.V.Cronin, A History of the Works of Sir Joshua Reynolds, 4 vols, London 1899-1901, Vol.i, 342 (as Francis Gale). Waterhouse 1941 Ellis K. Waterhouse, Reynolds, London, 1941, p.52. dated as 1763 Malcolm Cormack, 'The Legers of Sir Joshua Reynolds', The Walpole Society, xlii, 1968-70, pp.105-169, 1970. 121. A payment of 20 gns is recorded in the Ledger on 21 Apr. 1763 Montacute House, Somerset, 1976 [The National Trust; Dudley Dodd] 1976, "THE DRAWING ROOM Colonel Isaac Gale, by Sir Joshua Reynolds." Montacute House, Somerset, 1991 [The National Trust; Malcolm Rogers] 1991, p.60 "THE DRAWING ROOM PAINTINGS Colonel Isaac Gale Nothing is known of the sitter. (Stewart Bequest) Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-92), c.1763." Montacute House, Somerset, 1997 [The National Trust; Malcolm Rogers] 1991, revised 1997 , p.60 "THE DRAWING ROOM PAINTINGS Colonel Isaac Gale Nothing is known of the sitter. (Stewart Bequest) Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-92), c.1763." Mannings 2000: David Mannings, Sir Joshua Reynolds: A Complete Catalogue of his Paintings. The Subject Pictures catalogued by Martin Postle, New Haven & London 2000, p.207. "693. 'GALE, Colonel Isaac' Graves & Cronin identify him (impossibly) as Francis Gale of Liguania, Jamacia, who married Susannah, eldest daughter of James Hell, also of Jamacia; their daughter Susannah became Lady Gardner [1749-1823] fig.704. MONTACUTE HOUSE, SOMERSET THE NATIONAL TRUST 76x 63.5 cm. Oval PROVENANCE: Sotheby's 17 July 1935 (153); Sir P. Malcolm Stewart bequest to the NT; subsequently stolen but recovered. LITERATURE: Graves & Cronin [A History of the Works of Sir Joshua Reynolds, 4 vols, London 1899-1901], i 342 (as Francis Gale); W 52 Painted probably in 1763 (no Pocket Book); in a dark purple-red coat. A payment of 20 gns is recorded in the Ledger on 21 Apr. 1763 (Cormack [M. 'The Legers of Sir Joshua Reynolds', The Walpole Society, xlii, 1968-70] 1970, 121, misreading the entry as 'Mrs Gale' ). Restored by Freeman, after recovery from theft, 1971." Montacute House, Somerset, 2004-2006 [The National Trust; Malcolm Rogers] 2000, revised 2004, reprinted 2005, 2006, p.48 "THE DRAWING ROOM PAINTINGS Colonel Isaac Gale Nothing is known of the sitter. (Stewart Bequest) Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-92), c.1763."

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