British Portraits

The Museum’s collection of eighteenth-century British paintings is comprised exclusively of portraiture. Works by artists such as Thomas Lawrence, Thomas Gainsborough, and Henry Raeburn, who were skilled at creating psychologically perceptive portraits, reveal the look and spirit of both the aristocracy and the middle class. Clothing, jewelry, and other accessories provide glimpses into the lives of the sitters. These genteel images are often combined with landscapes to create artful compositions of casual elegance.