Nollekens established a flourishing fashionable practice in London, with a reputation akin to that of Reynolds.

This bust, which retains its original socle, became the source for other contemporary images of the General, including Wedgwood's jasperware portrait medallion. Nollekens made a practice of finishing his busts from life at a final sitting and here he has eloquently revealed the dignity and force of character of this distinguished soldier. General Sir Eyre Coote (1726-83) played a key part in the defeat of the French and their allies in India. The surrender of the French commander to Coote after the eight-month siege of Pondicherry in 1761 marked the demise of French power in India. In 1779, the year in which the bust was executed, Coote took up his post as Commander-in-Chief in India, becoming of critical importance in the conquest of India by the East India Company in the 18th century.

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