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© The Frick Collection
Sir Joshua Reynolds  (1723–1792)
General John Burgoyne, ca. 1766
Oil on canvas
50 x 39 7/8 in. (127 x 101.3 cm)
Framed: 60 1/2 × 50 1/2 × 3 1/2 in. (153.7 × 128.3 × 8.9 cm)
Purchased by The Frick Collection, 1943
Accession number: 1943.1.149
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East Gallery (119)
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Commentary: Best remembered as the British commander who in 1777 surrendered to American forces at Saratoga, John Burgoyne (1722–92) was also known in his day as a dandy, gambler, actor, amateur playwright, and Member of Parliament. This portrait may have been commissioned by his senior officer, Count La Lippe, as a memento of their Portuguese campaign of 1762. It is presumably the portrait that resulted from a sitting by General Burgoyne noted in Reynolds’ ledger for May of 1766; Burgoyne’s uniform is that of the Sixteenth Light Dragoons as it was worn until that month. The composition, with the dashing figure silhouetted before a low horizon and cloudy sky, was to become a classic type in Romantic portraiture.

Source: Art in The Frick Collection: Paintings, Sculpture, Decorative Arts, New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1996.
Collections: Count La Lippe, London, acquired in 1767 (?). Princes of Schaumburg-Lippe, Schloss Bückeburg, Germany. P. Rusch, Dresden. J. Pierpont Morgan. Knoedler. Frick, 1945.

Source: Paintings in The Frick Collection: American, British, Dutch, Flemish and German. Volume I. New York: The Frick Collection, 1968.

Updated by the Curatorial Department in August 2009.