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John Wootton, 1682–1764

Portrait of a Man on Horseback

Former Title(s):

An Unknown Man on Horseback

ca. 1740
Oil on canvas
50 1/4 × 40 1/8 inches (127.6 × 101.9 cm)
Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
breeches (trousers) | brocade | clouds | cravat | curls | equestrian | horse (animal) | man | portrait | redingote (overcoat) | reins | riding boots | ruffle | spurs, rowel | stirrups | tree | tricorne | waistcoat | water
Not on view
IIIF Manifest:

Despite his humble Warwickshire beginnings, John Wootton quickly became a favorite artist of the aristocracy for his innovative sporting pictures as well as his pastoral landscapes evoking the paintings of the seventeenthcentury masters Claude Lorrain and Gaspard Dughet. He was known to be an assiduous worker and was rarely without employment, in part because he was willing to work in several different genres, including portraiture, to suit the demands of his market. Little is known about the sitter in this equestrian portrait except that he is wearing a Pour le Mérite medal. The Orden [sic] Pour le Mérite was established in 1740 by King Frederick II (the Great) of Prussia and was granted for civil and military distinction as the highest order of merit in the Prussian kingdom. Initially, membership was not restricted to Prussian subjects and early recipients of the Pour le Mérite included eminent individuals from other countries.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2016

Malcolm Cormack, Concise Catalogue of Paintings in the Yale Center for British Art, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 1985, pp. 256-257, N590.2 A83 (YCBA) [YCBA]

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