Portrait of Alexander, 4th Duke of Gordon by Pompeo Batoni

The sitter was reputed to be the most handsome man in Scotland and the peer with the largest number of dependants.


Oil on canvas
292 x 192 cm
Art Fund grant:
£75,000 ( Total: £618,455; Tax remission)
Acquired in:
Trustees of the Goodwood Collection

Rural pursuits were his passion and it is as a sportsman that he has chosen to be depicted by Batoni. Gordon is seen in a scarlet English hunting frock suit, with the somewhat meagre spoils of the day's game at his feet and Gordon Castle in the background. His pose is loosely related to the Apollo Belvedere and recalls the equestrian portraits of Van Dyck. Batoni typically combined nonchalant yet elegant poses with dazzlingly-realized fashionable clothes and relevant antique sculptures to achieve personable likenesses. Yet within these standard ingredients his portraits show remarkable inventiveness and mastery at capturing the individuality of his sitters. This work was acquired with assistance from the Wolfson Foundation.


By descent in the Gordon family and later in the family of the Duke of Gordon of the second creation at Gordon Castle,Banffishire, until 1937, thence at Goodwood House, West Sussex.

Venue details

Scottish National Gallery The Mound, EDINBURGH Edinburgh EH2 2EL 0131 624 6200 www.nationalgalleries.org

Entry details

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