A Portrait of Baptist Noel, 3rd Earl of Gainsborough, by John Baptist Closterman (active 1690-1713).

Oil on canvas, oval 73.7cm by 61cm.

The portrait was painted for the Honourable Order of Little Bedlam, and acquired circa 1688-90 by John Cecil, 5th Earl of Exeter (1648-1700), founder and a fellow member of the Club.

Lord Gainsborough (1684-1714), is depicted with a whippet, his animal avatar, which was required for membership of the club.

It bears his name upon its collar.

A later addition to the 1688 Burghley Inventory records: ‘Severall Pictures Bought and brought in to Burghley house Since the fore Goeing inventory was Taken Aug[ust] 12th 1690…’1 picture of Mr Bapt(ist) Noel} no fframe by Sig[no]r Verrio.’

The German-born Closterman’s portraits were mostly of members of European nobility and their families.


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