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IIIF Actions
Nathaniel Dance, 1735–1811
Thomas "Sense" Browne
Former Title(s):

Thomas Brown, Garter King of Arms

Thomas Brown, Garter King [1977, Waterhouse, An Impressive Panorama of British Portraiture]
Materials & Techniques:
Oil on canvas
91 x 55 inches (231.1 x 139.7 cm)

Signed in black paint, lower left: "NDANCE"

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
barking iron | brown | dog (animal) | farmer | fields (agricultural land) | grass | horses (animals) | man | medal | medallion (medal) | pendant (jewelry) | plow (agricultural equipment) | portrait | spud | tree | wig
Associated Places:
England | Essendon | Hertfordshire
Associated People:
Browne, Thomas (1702–1780), herald and land surveyor
Not on view
IIIF Manifest:

Thomas Browne was a noted land surveyor at a time when landowners pursued improvements by adopting new agricultural techniques, including mechanization and enclosure, to maximize productivity and efficiency. This was often at the expense of the rural poor, who saw common land taken away and themselves reduced to agricultural wage laborers. This portrait shows Browne at work overseeing a ploughman on his country estate at Essendon, Hertfordshire. It was probably painted to commemorate his promotion in 1774 to Garter Principal King of Arms in the College of Arms, making him the most senior authority on heraldry in Britain. Browne wears his medal of office around his neck. Despite his position, Browne is shown quite literally as down to earth, with a spud in his hand to remove bark from felled trees and a faithful dog at his side.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2016

British Art at Yale, Apollo, v.105, April 1977, pp. 246, 249, fig. 22, N1 .A54 + OVERSIZE (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. 80-81, N590.2 A83 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Paul Mellon's Legacy : a passion for British art [large print labels], , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 2007, v. 1, N5220 M552 P381 2007 OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]

Ellis Waterhouse, An Impressive Panorama of British Portraiture, Apollo, v. 105, no. 182, April 1977, p. 246, 249, fig. 22, N1 A54 + (YCBA) Another copy of this article may be found in a separately bound and catalogued copy of this issue located on the Mellon Shelf [call number : N5220 M552 A7 1977 + (YCBA)] [YCBA]

Ellis Waterhouse, Dictionary of British 18th Century Painters in Oils and Crayons, Antique Collectors' Club, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 1981, pp. 99-100, ND466 +W38 Oversize (YCBA) [YCBA]

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