Portrait of unknown medical gentleman (previously Dr William Hunter)

about 1770 in United Kingdom

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Painting. [Dr William Hunter 1718-1783] / Artist unknown, nd. [c.1750]. Oil on canvas; 77x65cm. After a painting by
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Portrait of a medical gentleman. Unknown artist. Oil on canvas; 77x65cm. A handwritten label adhered on stretcher verso specifies Gainsborough as the artist and Dr William Hunter as the sitter. However, there is no record that Gainsborough ever painted Hunter, and this is not in his style. Likewise, the sitter's clothing here dates from about 1770, when Hunter was in his 50s, and this painting does not show a man of that age. It does show, half length, a gentleman in his thirties, facing right holding an anatomy book open at a picture of a skeleton. The artist and sitter remain the subject of research.


Object Number:
  • visual and verbal communication
  • oil painting - visual work
  • visual and verbal communication

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