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Thomas Gainsborough RA, 1727–1788

Clayton Jones

Former Title(s):

Mr. Clayton Jones [1985, Cormack, YCBA Concise Catalogue]

Seth Jones

1744 to 1745
Oil on canvas
30 x 25 inches (76.2 x 63.5 cm)
Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
clouds | costume | cravat | engageantes | landscape | man | portrait | ruffles, sleeve | stockings | waistcoat | woods
Associated People:
Jones, Clayton (1722–?)
Not on view
IIIF Manifest:

This portrait has traditionally been identified as Mr. Clayton Jones, which is an unusual name. According to baptismal records, Clayton Jones was a Londoner, the son of one Seth Jones and Sarah Clayton, who married in October 1720 at St. Martin's Church, Outwich. Clayton Jones was baptized in December 1722 at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, and eventually married Margaret Jenks on February 6, 1745, in the same church. The subject of this portrait is clearly not twenty-two or twenty-three years old, however, and it may therefore be that the Jones's descendants mistook Seth Jones for his son Clayton, or that the subject is someone else altogether. Fortunately, there is no mistaking Gainsborough's highly distinctive Ipswich-period style, which anchors the picture firmly to the mid-1740s.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2005

Hugh Belsey, Thomas Gainsborough: The portraits, fancy pictures and copies after old masters, Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, p. 504, cat. 530, NJ18.G16 B453 2019 (LC) Oversize (YCBA) [YCBA]

John Bensusan-Butt, Thomas Gainsborough in His Twenties : A Memorandum Based on Contemporary Sources, , Colchester, May 1993, p. 67, NJ18 G16 B47 1993 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Malcolm Cormack, Concise Catalogue of Paintings in the Yale Center for British Art, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 1985, pp. 96-97, N590.2 A83 (YCBA) [YCBA]

John T. Hayes, The landscape paintings of Thomas Gainsborough, a critical text and catalogue raisonné , Sotheby Publications, London, 1982, pp. 34-35 (v.1), pl. 36 (v.1), NJ18 G16 A12 H39 1982 + OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]

Marcia R. Pointon, Portrayal and the search for identity, Reaktion Books, London, 2013, pp. 140, 142-43,147, ilus. 50, N7575 .P6452 2013 (YCBA) [YCBA]

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