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George Eastman Collection

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Mrs. William Provis of Bath

1766
29 1/2 x 24 in. (74.9 x 61 cm)

Thomas R. A. Gainsborough
British (1727 - 1788)

Object Type: Painting
Medium and Support: Oil on canvas
Credit Line: George Eastman Collection of the University of Rochester
Accession Number: 1978.1
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Location: Not currently on view
Collection: George Eastman Collection

A founding member of the Royal Academy, Thomas R. A. Gainsborough was a premier 18th-century English portraitist whose upward trajectory to fame began with a strategic move to Bath, a town with many portrait-commissioning British gentry. This particular portrait captures Bath resident Ann Pigott in her lonely and isolated youth. At 17, she married a much older William Provis and was left alone and childless while he lived at his country estate. As British gentry were selling family art collections in face of financial strain from estate taxes implemented in 1894, newly-wealthy Americans were building art collections. George Eastman acquired this portrait in 1912 in that manner and later bequeathed it to the University of Rochester.[

Label text from It Came From the Vault exhibition, 2013]

Provenance
Sold at Christie's, London, May 19, 1911, lot 88; Colnaghi, London (dealer) and M. Knoedler, New York (dealer), , May 27, 1911, book 5, stock no. 12440; Roebel and Reinhardt Galleries, Milwaukee WI, June 28, 1911; George Eastman (1854-1932), Rochester, NY, purchased 1912; his bequest to the University of Rochester, 1932; transferred to the Gallery in 1978

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It Came from the Vault exhibition catalogue Entry for this artwork in the It Came from the Vault exhibition catalogue. The exhibition ran from March 17-June 9, 2013


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