The Yellow Waistcoat

W. S. Lethbridge, 1806


In 1806 British Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger died, Horatio Nelson was given a state funeral, Jane Austen and her family moved into lodgings in Bath following the death of her father, and this (unknown) gentleman had his portrait painted!

Sporting natural curls, arched eyebrows and a dimpled chin, he is shown in half-profile wearing a double-breasted coat with brass buttons, a dashing yellow waistcoat and a knotted stock.

The portrait is signed on the reverse – ‘W. S. Lethbridge Pixit 1806 / No. 96 Strand / corner Beaufort Builds / London’. It is housed in a gold frame glazed on both sides and with a fausse-montre hanger .

The son of a Devon farmer, Walter Stephens Lethbridge (1771-c.1831) was initially apprenticed to a house painter but, having discovered he had a talent for portraiture, he attached himself to a travelling artist. He subsequently exhibited at the Royal Academy.

Item Ref. 6226

Size: framed, 85 x 70mm