Collection Online

Richard St George Mansergh-St George
(c. 1776-1780)

Medium
oil on canvas
Measurements
230.2 × 156.1cm
Accession Number
1223-3
Department
International Painting
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Felton Bequest, 1922
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of Digitisation Champion Ms Carol Grigor through Metal Manufactures Limited
Gallery location
17th to 18th Century European Paintings Gallery
Level 2, NGV International

The subject of this painting, long known as An Officer of the 4th Regiment of Foot, has now been identified as Richard St George Mansergh-St George (1757–98), who joined the 4th Regiment at the start of the American War of Independence. He saw action in America at the battles of Brandywine and Germantown, where he received a bullet to his head. In 1785 he left the army and retired to his family estates in County Cork, Ireland. Mansergh-St George was murdered by Irish rebels at the beginning of the Irish Rebellion of 1798.

Frame

Thomas GAINSBOROUGH
Richard St George Mansergh-St George (c. 1776-1780)
Framemaker
Reproduction - commissioned by the NGV
Date
2005
Thomas GAINSBOROUGH
Richard St George Mansergh-St George (c. 1776-1780)
About

The reframing of An officer of the Fourth Regiment of Foot, c.1776-1780, by Thomas Gainsborough, was developed over a number of years, starting in 2002.
The former frame on the painting was thought to be part of a nineteenth century frame, most likely the slip, which had been over-painted with darkened bronze paint. It was not a style consistent with the date of the painting and was incomplete.
The need to resolve the framing of the painting was given impetus with the cleaning and restoration of the painting in 2004/5.
Serious consideration was given to reproducing the frame from Lady Brisco at Kenwood House (featuring a large lotus leaf in the shallow scotia). This beautiful frame is perhaps a singular example and by reproducing it for the ‘officer’ we would be drawing a false connection between the two pictures.
The prototype eventually used for the frame was an antique concave Neoclassical frame. The frame is believed to have been made in London between the 1760’s-1780’s. The prototype width of 4 1/8” was scaled up to 5”. The reproduction, hand carved, gessoed, re-cut and French water gilded, was made in London.
Like the frame for Reynolds Susannah Gale, the frame was constructed in four sections to be re-assembled after transport.
The frame was ordered in 2004 and fitted to the painting in January 2005.