General George Eliott

Mather Brown (American, Boston, Massachusetts 1761–1831 London)
Oil on canvas
98 3/16 x 64 3/8 in. (249.4 x 163.5 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, 2003 Benefit Fund; Morris K. Jesup, Maria DeWitt Jesup, Dale T. Johnson, John Osgood and Elizabeth Amis Cameron Blanchard and Joel B. Leff Charitable Funds; Iola Haverstick, Dorothy Schwartz and David Hicks Gifts; and Gift of Alice and Evelyn Blight and Mrs. William Payne Thompson, by exchange, 2004
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 753
Brown’s grand-manner portrait of General George Eliott (1717–1790) is a great spectacle that captured both the painter and his subject at the pinnacle of their respective careers. Descended from America’s earliest settlers, Brown grew up in Boston and trained in London under Benjamin West. General Eliott commanded the British garrison against the allied Spanish and French forces at Gibraltar (1779–83). The pyrotechnic portrait shows Eliott during a battle in September 1782, when the British deployed the newly devised technique of heated shot, annihilating the enemy fleet. (Eliott is also portrayed in John Trumbull’s painting of the scene; 1976.332.)
Ex coll: the sitter, Heathfield Park, Sussex, England; by descent to his son, Francis Augustus Eliott; by gift from the sitter's descendants to the Sussex County Council, Lewes, Sussex, England, about 1820-until 2004; [Sotheby's, London, November 27, 2003, lot 14, to Hirschl & Adler Galleries, New York]