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Creator:
Unknown artist, eighteenth century
Formerly attributed to Johan Joseph Zoffany RA, 1733–1810, German, active in Britain (from 1760)
Title:
An Unknown Man, perhaps Charles Goring of Wiston (1744-1829), out Shooting with his Servant
Date:
ca. 1765
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
Support (PTG): 45 3/4 x 54 inches (116.2 x 137.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
B2001.2.218
Classification:
Paintings
Collection:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
costume | dog (animal) | rifle | rural | servant | Spaniels (breed) | sporting art | sportsman
Associated Places:
England | Europe | North Yorkshire | Richmond | United Kingdom
Associated People:
Goring, Charles (1744–1829)
Access:
Not on view
Curatorial Comment:
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In a wooded landscape, a servant hands his master a woodcock, the latest catch of a shooting expedition that has just been retrieved by the spaniel. With his other hand he holds a tricorne hat and pats the young gentleman on the back. The relaxed intimacy and apparent affection between the two figures suggest that this servant was a favored footman and that whoever commissioned the painting specifically requested him to be portrayed–making this a double portrait. Unlike the other black servants in this section of the exhibition, this young man is wearing neither a slave collar nor exoticizing costume. Underlying the informality of the exchange between the two men, however, is a well-defined hierarchy in which the servant acts as an intermediary between the hunting dog and his master. Until recently, this painting was thought to represent Charles Lennox, third Duke of Richmond, whose staff wore a livery of yellow and scarlet. Research for this exhibition has revealed that the blue and red livery worn by the servant here is much closer to that of the neighboring West Sussex estate of Wiston, inherited by Charles Goring (1744–1829) from his father in 1768. --This text served as the label to this object in Figures of Empire: Slavery and Portraiture in Eighteenth-Century Atlantic Britain, an exhibition at the Yale Center for British Art that was curated by Esther Chadwick, Meredith Gamer, and Cyra Levenson, which was on view from October 2, 2014 until December 14, 2014.
Exhibition History:
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Figures of Empire: Slavery and Portraiture in Eighteenth-Century Atlantic Britain (Yale Center for British Art, 2014-10-02 - 2014-12-14)

Publications:
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Figures of empire : slavery and portraiture in eighteenth-century Atlantic Britain, organized by the Yale Center for British Art and curated by Esther Chadwick and Meredith Gamer, PhD candidates in the History of Art at Yale University and Cyra Levenson , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 2014, pp. 6, 42, V 2556 (YCBA)

Penelope McElwee, The non-representation of the agricultural labourers in 18th and 19th century English paintings : an exploration into the artistic conventions followed by the aristocracy and landowning classes in representations of the agricultural labourers ..., Newcastle upon Tyne, 2016, p. 87, fig. 7-1, NX650.L32 M34 2016 (YCBA)

Catherine Molineux, Faces of perfect ebony, encountering Atlantic slavery in imperial Britain , Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., 2012, p. 48 and colored plate section following p. 52, Color Plate 10, DA125.N4 M65 2012 (YCBA)

Slavery and portraiture in 18th-century Atlantic Britain, [ Website ] , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 2015, Available Online http://interactive.britishart.yale.edu/slavery-and-portraiture/279/an-unknown-man-perhaps-charles-goring-of-wiston-1744-1829-out-shooting-with-his-servant

Link:
https://collections.britishart.yale.edu/catalog/tms:42766
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