Completed Military History, Portraits: British 18th C 78 Could this be attributed to Henry Raeburn rather than 'school of'?

Captain Charles William Le Geyt, 3rd Regiment of Foot (1733–1827)
Topic: Artist

Could this be attributed to Henry Raeburn rather than 'school of'?

Completed, Outcome

This discussion is now closed. The attribution has been changed to ‘unknown artist’ and the picture dated 1760–1763.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the discussion. To anyone viewing this discussion for the first time, please see below for all the comments that led to this conclusion.


Toby Campbell,

Just a thought but is this not by Tilly Kettle?

Martin Hopkinson,

The treatment of the sitter's eyes is indeed very similar to those in several portraits by Kettle. He had a trick of using a little white to enliven them. Stylistically this painting cannot be by Raeburn and its date must be before the Scottish artist began his career. I would say that it is unlikely to be later than 1770 and could be a few years earlier. Can experts on army uniform give any advice on this?

Paul Kettlewell,

A couple of news items which may help with the dating - Capt Charles William Le Geyt transferred from the 94th regiment of foot to the 63rd regiment of foot in 1763, he was still a Captain in 1776 when he was appointed as Deputy Bailiff of Jersey. His career appears to have gone downwards as by 1784 he was a lieutenant and by 1791 he was an ensign in the 34th regiment of foot, before being promoted back to lieutenant in 1793.

Greaeme Cameron,

Certainly, I would suggest. This is a portrait of considerable quality and created by a master well above the attribution it currently posseses. Its constituents appear superior to Tilly Kettle's work, as can be seen when compared with a similar Military portrait in the attached File (at Right). Interestingly, and is of a standard comparable with Raeburn's best work. (See Below). The striking, realistic features in the expression, the masterly modelling of the face. hair, uniform, with pronounced use of chiaroscuro, (absent in the Kettle work), all indicate an artist of great ability, well up to Raeburn's best standard, and perhaps even better. It deserves more research to establish actual authorship. If not for being fully engaged on forthcoming significant restitutions and volumes, I would have assisted more to finally identify its actual authorship. Best wishes, Graeme

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Jenny Spencer-Smith,

The sitter certainly isn't wearing the uniform of the Buffs (3rd Foot) as stated in its caption but, if this dates from the Le Geyt's period of service with the 63rd (1763-91?), why isn't he wearing a gorget as stipulated in the 1768 Clothing Warrant? I don't currently have access to the chart of regimental facing and lace colours to check the 63rd's, but a 1775 portrait in the NAM (see shows green facings with silver lace.
The 63rd were in the West Indies from 1759 to 1764, returning to Ireland where they remained at various towns until called to active service in America in 1775. Is an Irish artist a possibility? Of course an officer may have spent time elsewhere during this period, but I don't feel this portrait can be attributed to either Raeburn or to Tilly Kettle on stylistic grounds. I do agree that the subtlety of the sitter's expression makes this the work of a significant professional.

David Bindman,

Could the portrait be by Robert Fagan, the Irish artist?

Martin Hopkinson,

Nathaniel Hone is more likely than Fagan as a candidate for authorship

Jenny Spencer-Smith,

Hone's lovely portraits seemed to be bathed in a golden light which we don't have here (unless this is due to yellowing varnish?). But he could paint beautiful hands, as seen here.
Worth considering John Hoppner?

Probably dating the uniform will be the key, though. I should have mentioned that the 1768 warrant stipulates that the regimental number will appear on the buttons, yet no such appears here.

Martin Hopkinson,

If this is a painting of the 1760s this would rule out Hoppner, Fagan and Raeburn

Barbara Bryant,

Yes, by the late 1770s the sitter looks quite a bit older. The picture in Jersey shows a young man in his 20s, maybe early 30s, which would put the date at something more like mid 1750s-mid 1760s.
Given the LeGeyt family's prominence in Jersey, might this portrait be by a French artist?

Neil Jeffares,

The 63rd had dark green facings from its inception in 1758 and in the 1768 regulations. However the 94th (Royal Welsh Volunteers) had dark blue facings and white lace during its existence, 1760-63, and seems to correspond with the portrait. (Could a dark green made with blue and yellow lake, have faded to this colour?)
In 1763 Le Geyt married Elizabeth Shebbeare; her portrait, apparently by the same artist, may provide additional evidence for attribution. Their son was also Charles William; he died in 1806 as a major, 45th; his record is probably confused with his father's in one of the comments above.

Bendor Grosvenor,

My first thought, for what it's worth, was Nathaniel Hone. But that's more of a guess, and ideally we need a larger image. I don't immediately see Kettle or Fagan. We can safely rule out Raeburn and later candidates.

Greaeme Cameron,

May I firstly cite my initial, quickly observed note above;

"Interestingly, it is of a standard comparable with Raeburn's best work. The striking, realistic features in the expression, the masterly modelling of the face. hair, uniform, with pronounced use of chiaroscuro, all indicate an artist of great ability, well up to Raeburn's best standard, and perhaps even better. It deserves more research to establish actual authorship". Due to time constraints this was a just brief 'snapshot' view.

As perceived, this work appeared undoubtedly of a very high order, and evoked a familiar recognition which had teased my frames of reference since. It finally coalesced with the realisation that this may be a superb early Gainsborough portrait. Having researched a "Bath Period" work of 1763, it is well within his his capabilities, however this would be later in the 1760's, which would fit with the earlier discussed "Uniform" datings. The attached comparisons appear to support this probable attribution, which I suggest deserves further research to more definitively confirm.

I hope this unexpected new direction of attribution will prove fruitful,as
it would further contribute to some greater discoveries ahead for Britain.

With best regards, Graeme

Bruce Trewin,

The Royal Welsh Volunteers were designated as the 94th Regiment of foot during the French and Indian Wars and used blue facings on their uniforms. Could the portrait date from this period? The Scotch Brigade, also designated as the 94th, served in Jersey just prior to the Peninsular War, but I think this would be far too late (after 1794).

Bruce Trewin,

His obituary in the Gentleman's Magazine and Historical Chronicle states that he distinguished himself at the Battle of Minden as Captain of the grenadier's company of the 25th regiment of Foot. As he was born in 1733 this would make him about the right age for the portrait. I believe the 25th was also known as the Edinburgh regiment. Your neck of the woods Bendor? The colour of the facings for this regiment, however, was yellow.

Bruce Trewin,

Are we sure that this portrait is of the father and not the son? The son may have been of the right age for Raeburn (who was only four years old at the time of the Battle of Minden). I also suspect that the cuffs and facings would be more prominent in a uniform of the Seven Years War. This one seems slightly later. Would he not be wearing a wig or his hair be powdered in circa 1759?

Mark Gray,

Nothing but bits of trivia to add here but:

(i) Anne Oakley 'A Critical Woman: Barbara Wootton, Social Science and Public Policy in the Twentieth Century' (A&C Black, 2011): 28-29 suggests that the painting (or 'a portrait') may have hung originally in Elizabeth Castle at St Helier (see for online access via Google Books).

(ii) The BM Print Room has an engraved portrait of Le Geyt ( p. 36) - attached - which appears to be based on a Sir William Beechey portrait ( Clearly later than the portrait discussed here, the Beechey piece is dated 1777

Neil Jeffares,

We seem to be going round in circles in this discussion; perhaps my previous post wasn’t sufficiently clear. Charles William Le Geyt (1733-1827) was in 25th Foot at the Battle of Minden in 1759, but the colours of that regiment are wrong. Between c.1760 and 1763 he was in the 94th (Royal Welsh Volunteers) which has exactly the right colours. After 1763 he was in the 63rd Foot which has the wrong colours. He married in April 1763. The portrait of his wife may be a pendant (the photographs are too poor to indicate what is happening in the oval, but the provenance is the same), and could well be contemporaneous. All this points to a date of 1763.
His son was in the 45th Foot which has the wrong colours.

Bruce Trewin,

Thanks Neil, your summary certainly seems to clarify that the description should say Charles William Le Geyt in the uniform of the Royal Welsh Volunteers, age 30. Probably a marriage pendant and certainly not by the 7 year old Henry Raeburn, or the 5 year old Hoppner, but still possibly by Nathanial Hone (dates are good) as are those for Tilly Kettle, who was just finishing at Oxford and establishing himself in London in 1763.

Bendor Grosvenor,

This painting is absolutely not by Gainsborough.

Martin Hopkinson,

Has anyone sent an image of this portrait to the National Gallery of Ireland which devoted an exhibition and publication to Nathaniel Hone in 1992?

Greaeme Cameron,

I would kindly request the evidence in support of the unequivocal opinion expressed above, that the above work is "absolutely not" by Gainsborough". .

Tim Williams,

If you see this painting by Cotes:,_Earl_of_St_Vincent_by_Francis_Cotes.jpg

you'll notice that the hilt of the sword is exactly the same as in this portrait. That is not because Cotes painted this portrait too, but because most sword hilts at this time looked similar.

In your comparison Greaeme, whilst Gainsborough's sitter is wearing 18th century military costume, nothing else is alike - the handling of the paint is more fluid, the composition, posture, use of light, brush size, palette, deft rendering of the epaulettes, skin tones - pretty much everything is different.

Greaeme Cameron,

Thanks for the considerate note Tim and your observations. The image believe it or not is only 46kbs and therefore no where near definitive enough to make "unequivocal judgements" from, especially on the rendering of the painted surface, so I earlier used the term "may be" and for "more research to be required" in my original note, on its potential/alternative authorship.

However, when adjusted as best as is possible, given such poor resolution,the handling/style comparisons do become much closer.
(Please refer to the adjusted image attached).

More interestingly, there is a portrait of his wife, (perhaps but not necessarily a pendant, as she seems older), which although also of low resolution, also has a feeling. in my humble opinion, of Gainsborough's hand as well.
That said, it is difficult to be any more certain with such low res images.

Thank you again and regards. G

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Bruce Trewin,

I am sure that Bendor's statement can be summarised in one word:

Greaeme Cameron,

Bruce, since you have raised the above term in the context of this discussion,quite obviously inferring the alternative research suggestions provided by myself are lacking in that credential, should you have the time, the results of over 4 decades of more significant restitutions might serve to clarify the actual situation, which also included such forensic specialists as Prof. John Clement formerly of UCL, as has been recommended prudent this case.
Ref ;

Bruce Trewin,

Sorry Greaeme, haste on my part and no intention to be negative. The comments were based on my personal experience only and reflect only my thoughts at the moment. I will take more care in future.
My apologies.

Greaeme Cameron,

Not a problem Bruce, my research has remained in the background, unlike the work of others, and in the few contributions I will make to this site, I'm trying to assist the cause of art history, in providing answers to quandaries.
Other interesting restitutions will be forthcoming independently later 2014.

Heather French,

I am descended from this gentleman. On my mother's side.

Alice Read,

That's fascinating Heather, could you share any further information about your ancestor?

Barbara Bryant,

As Neil Jeffares noted (a year ago now), the portrait of Charles William Le Geyt (1733-1827) shows him in the uniform of the Royal Welsh Volunteers, which gives us a date in the early 1760s, probably 1763. Might there be any further suggestions about the artist? Hone has come into the discussion. Is this possible?

Martin Hopkinson,

As pointed out by Neil Jeffares, it seems possible that this is a pair with the portrait of his wife, also in the same collection. The style of that portrait seems to me in some respects comparable to that of Hone's portrait of Kitty Fisher in the NPG painted in 1765

Barbara Bryant,

Perhaps a better image would help the discussion along. Could the PCF organise?

What about Francis Cotes? Possible?

Martin Hopkinson,

Cotes's style in the early 1760s does not seem to be very like that of this portrait

Jade Audrey King,

I have emailed the collection to request permission to post a high resolution image of this painting. Will pass on any response.

Heather French,

With reference to my earlier post, and in response to Ms Alice Payne's post, my great great great grandmother is Susan Mary Le Geyt and her father is Philip Le Geyt. Jersey family names include Colley, Curry, Le Geyt, Le Cras, and Mourant. (These connections have been researched and confirmed by a distant relative and given to us.) My great grandmother, Ethel May, was from Jersey, married a Terry of Kent and is buried in that county. My grandmother was born on Jersey and raised on Guernsey. My mother was born in Kent.

As a youngster in the Antipodes, my mother was plied with names, statements and fascinating stories from her mother of and about her family life and various individuals, both living and passed, back in Jersey and England. They included how we were related to Captain Charles William: the first Postmaster General of Jersey, about which “Victorian" Granny was immensely proud. However, I have since learned that Charles William did a great many more things than that for which he is well noted. In addition, Captain Charles William is nephew to Philippe Le Geyt, Lieutenant Bailiff of Jersey.

On a personal note, my brother says I bear the Captain's resemblance; I must say that I do get the feeling when I look at the painting that I am looking back into my ancestral soul-self - which is only possible due to the skill of the artist, Mr Raeburn (I presume?). It is a beautifully executed. There is a sketch of me when I was younger made by the Late Jack Earl, the renowned Australian maritime artist. It will be interesting to compare them, once I locate it (in storage).

My mother shared with me that my grandmother also mentioned Sir John Le Couteur of Jersey but I have yet to discover what connections we might have with that gentleman.

I hope that is vaguely interesting if not useful - or vice versa. And sorry for the delay. Had I known the painting was available for sale/auction, I would have bought it back into the family.

It's over 4 years since a high-resolution image was added to the discussion (Jade King, 14/07/2015 15:40). Could another look at it help us to make progress? The lifelike blue eyes even appear to have flecked irises. Are there any further thoughts on Nathaniel Hone or Francis Cotes?

Michael Hurman,

After 40 years of service with the Infantry this painting and identity piqued my interest.
Reading all the preceding threads clearly show lots of interest and expertise. I do not wish to contradict anyones hard efforts. But!! There do seem to be some inconsistencies, as I research, regarding the identity of the sitter and the regiments that he served with tied in with the uniform the sitter is wearing.

It seems fairly clear to me that the uniform is from the 16th Lancers Lt Col Burgoyne is wearing a very similar uniform and the scarlet and yellow sash around the sword basket also seem to match. Also Greaeme Cameron's post of the Gainsborough painting depicts a similar uniform. The Line Infantry uniforms were very different.

The Le Geyt family page
indicate that he commanded a company of Grenadiers at the Battle of Minden, before being placed on half pay with the 63rd. (This was normally a paper transaction to take retirement.)
The plaque says he was with the 25th of foot, yes they would have had Grenadiers, but they did not become the Kings Own Scottish Borderers for another 46 years. Just me being picky.
I would like to dare suggest that Le Geyt did serve as above but not with the 16th Lancers; and therefore I think our sitter dressed in 16th Lancers Uniform of circa the period 1660s is not Charles Le Geyt.

Jacinto Regalado,

I assume Mr. Hurman meant 1760s in his last sentence.

Michael Hurman,

Thank you Jacinto, Yes 1760. It may be worth mentioning that similar uniform was being worn during the American war of independence. The 16th Lancers museum has one on display. So one could suggest the painting to be 1760- 1776.

Michael Hurman,

I have just received opinion from The 16th 5th Lancers museum saying that they think the uniform is not from the 16th Lancers. So please ignore my comments above. I will continue to try to identify the uniform.

The comment reads:
Dear Mike,

Thank you for your email re, Captain Charles William Le Geyt (1733–1827), 3rd Regiment of Foot.

I have checked our roll of 16th Light Dragoons/ Lancers officers for the above period and his name does not appear on our lists.

With regards to the uniform, although similar to the 16th Light Dragoons Circa 1765 , the facing colour is black not blue.
During the Peninsular campaign 1793 the uniform is completely different in style and the colour of the jacket is blue
The 16th did not become Lancers until 1816 and again the style uniform changes.

In my opinion the uniform in the painting is not that of a 16th LD or Lancer.
We have considered in the past of signing up on ArtUK and will look seriously now at following this up

Hope this helps.



Captain (Retd) JM Holtby AMA


The Royal Lancers & Nottinghamshire Yeomanry Museum | Thoresby Courtyard, Thoresby Park, Perlethorpe, Nottinghamshire NG22 9EP.

Tel 01623 824222.

Michael Hurman,

After a great deal of interesting research I can only conclude that The sitter is Charles Le Geyt and Yes he served with the 25th at the Battle of Minden aged 26 on 1 August 1759 commanding a company of Grenadiers in what was known as Maxwells Grenadiers Battalion a grouping of Grenadier Company's formed from 12th,20th,23rd,25th and 51st of Foot Regiments. Later retired on half pay from the 63rd most likely as described in 1763. The uniform in the painting is not from the 25th and not from the 63rd nor as above from the 16th Light Dragoons.
So maybe the uniform is of another regiment prior to 1859 perhaps at the age of 24 or 25 before he joins the 25th of foot. The Royal Jersey Militia were dressed in Scarlet but that is as much as I have so far discovered.

Good morning Michael,
Many thanks indeed for your helpful and interesting contribution to this discussion, and for sharing further helpful information from Mick Holtby of the Royal Lancers & Nottinghamshire Yeomanry Museum.

We are sorry for the problems with our website on Friday, which resulted in multiple entries being posted. The duplicates have been deleted now.

Michael Hurman,

Thank you Marion. I would like to suggest that a search of high quality portrait artist that were active in the period 1756-1759 that may be attributed to this painting would be a good idea.
Barbara Bryant, Portraits: British 19th C, 06/07/2014 09:57 post above suggested similar.

Whaley Turco,

I believe I have found the base model for his Uniform Costume. It is listed under First Foot Guards. The Main attribute being the barn coat collar. Which, as it turns out is not very common. It also Shifts the date to 1770s. The 63rd was garrisoned in Dublin from 1765-1775. No Luck on the painter at this time. I agree with Greaeme Cameron, it is an artist of note. I have ruled out TG based on brushwork. The same for Romney. It's not perfect enough for Reynolds. It's Not Hone either. The thing is anyone who could paint like that would never change their brushwork. So a brushwork comparison,to me is an eliminator. I'm still looking.

Whaley Turco,

From what I could tell, after looking at a number of these uniforms, there seems to be a base uniform that each regiment made slight alterations to. As for Lt Col Pechell's uniform it's close but not the same. The Big stand out on our painting is the Barn Coat Collar. Most paintings have a coat with a stand up Collar. Ours has a laid out collar. The NTC coat also has a laid out collar. Somehow that means something. As for the Gainsborough attribution by the Met Museum, I'm just gonna say NO. LOL.

Louis Musgrove,

Collar-- I get the impression that the blue turn down collar of our sitter is that of a garment underneath the Red Frock coat. I look at the chest button fastenings and epaulettes and the brading on the cuffs, which features are similar with the Lt Col Pechell. And don't forget that officers liked their tailors (no issued kit for officers ) to add little embelishments as fashion dictated.

Louis Musgrove,

IF, and I emphasise if, there is doubt about the identity of our sitter-- I have been noticing the spiral pommel at the top of the sword.This is an unusual feature for a infantry sword. I am wondering if this is a Naval Sword- the cord and tassle would be not be out of place on a Naval Sword.So do we have an officer of the Royal Marines??? Any experts?

Whaley Turco,

Louis I think you are correct about the outer coat. It doesn't have a collar. The blue waistcoat has a collar and he has laid it outside the red overcoat. I can Place that Outer Coat almost. It is obviously red or scarlet with red or scarlet facing. 3 Different regiments at the Battle of Minden called for the Red on Red. None of them specified a blue waistcoat. Plus The Ones that called for the Red on Red also called for various colors of piping. None of which you see here. Le Geyt was somewhat Famous in his day for having fought in the Battle of Minden. There are Plaques dedicated to him and he seems to have gotten his Postmasters Job because of it. The Victory at the Battle of Minden is still celebrated every year. The sword which you mentioned is unusual. I haven't seen another like it. If you look at the handle closely it is bent. The sword knot is generic and of no help. I was able to blow the photo here up a bit. You can see that there used to be a sash and a pocket and something else in what is now the black area of the waistcoat. So I am starting to wonder if some restorer has had a go at this painting. There is also a problem with the right edge of the face. There are records about Le Geyt behind paywalls on line, my guess is some of the answers are there. As for who painted it, it's not Raeburn. He was too young. I wouldn't be surprised if it was was Mason Chamberlin (1722-1787).

Louis Musgrove,

Yes the lower waistcoat is a murky area- and the space between the sword hand and the body.Not sure what is going on there.He seems to be wearing heavy clothing- perhaps fur- for a cold climate- see below ---Yes- perhaps it has been worked on- especially as the cords on the cuffs bother me. Before 1791 (Minden 1759) field officers didn't wear badges of rank on their uniforms- and it was almost impossible to know what rank they were ( according to my research)- the soldiers knew of course who and what their officers were.And rank appeared to be a bit fluid-title and job description didn't match. Ayway here we have an officer with rank cords on his sleeve???? The plaque says he was in charge of three companys during the battle- and diverse companys at that- as you say Whalley ,biographical information will enlighten us on that, but that would imply he was doing the job of a Major.
There is a portrait of the older Willam by Sir William Beechey dated 1777- there is a slight resemblance, but I doubt it is the same person. There is a family member George Le Geyt ( sort of distant nephew of William who served in the Navy,joining in 1791- who sailed for the Halifax NS. station on the Hussar in 1792- cold in Halifax !!!! need warm clothing-- and eventually rose to the rank of Vice Admiral. I wonder? All a bit confusing!

Whaley Turco,

Of all the Mysteries in this mystery the Blue Waistcoat probably tops the list. If anyone has access to the online British Military records perhaps you could go look up our fellow and see what he was up to, exactly. Minden was such a seminal Battle of that time that my guess is the records on who fought with whom are fairly accurate.

Michael Hurman,

Please may I correct Louis Musgrove's assertion that Le Geyt commanded 3 company's. The information has already been provided above, in that, Company's of Grenadiers known as Maxwell's Grenadiers were companies formed or grouped together "of" those soldiers trained as Grenadiers from different Regiments. Specifically from 12th, 20th, 23rd,25th and 51st of Foot Regiments. Le Geyt was simply tasked to command a Grenadier company formed specifically for a task within this battle.
The supporting information to the plaque suggests an enduring affiliation with The Royal Jersey Militia and The Royal Hampshires (37th) and the Plaque wording just states that he commanded a company "of" (I read " formed from") And note Maxwells Grenadiers did not include the 37th.
So I surmise that it was possible that Le Geyt was tasked by the 37th to Maxwell to lead one of the Grenadier companies being formed from grenadiers from the other regiments. The 37th as far as I can see was formed from The North and South Hampshire Militias. It is possible that The Royal Jersey Militia were grouped along with them.
Grouping of different arms for specific tasks are still practiced in today's Army. When I was serving we practiced as Infantry working with Armour to form a grouping to combat a specific threat situation. When the task was complete we reverted back to our parent units.

I still suggest that the research is concentrated on the dress of the period of "The Royal Jersey Militia", Le Geyt's parent unit seemingly attached to The Royal Hampshire's, as the information provided leads us to believe. I like others have found myself going down proverbial rabbit holes, shifting dates to suit similar looking uniforms but end up back a square one. To answer the discrepancies of the Sword sash colours. Maybe they were the identifying colours for the Royal Jersey Militia?

Louis Musgrove,

I was only refering to what is says on the plaque- picture link posted by Whalley Turco just above- which is I believe on a wall in Minden Place Jersey- I assumed it was roughly correct and there were a lot of Grenadiers!!! .But even though the actual facts of the battle of Minden are interesting , they don't help to make sure that this is a portrait of William Le Geyt.

Because- the sword looks like a naval sword- and the cords of rank on the slieve cuff are curious for the date of Minden.And the blue collar which caused so much debate is almost certainly of a blue undercoat waistcoat .Any Ideas Michael?? BTW. I know nothing of Jersey Militia Uniforms.

Whaley Turco,

I have yet to find any sword like the one in this painting, let alone a Naval Sword. and I looked. If you D/L the painting and blow up the sword area, the handle is askew. The Sword Knot or Cord is generic. The Sash across the Waistcoat, plus the Waistcoat itself has been either painted over or removed.
Now, if I fought at the Battle of Minden i'm fairly sure I would make certain that my uniform was properly presented in my Portrait.
On the Upside, The Face, The Red Coat, The Overall Composition Appears to have been by someone of Talent. The Painter wasn't a traveling Hack.
But there is something very odd going on here..

Louis Musgrove,

Whalley - look for Naval Sword 1800 -which became known as the " Nelson Pattern" That's so far the only period sword I have found with a spiral design on the pommel.Haven't found an infantry sword like it . The handguard and Tassle with cord is consistant. Have enlarged ,and the sword handle does look a bit out of alignment. The sash across the waistcoat is perhaps the sword hanger ?? As you say- perchance this painting has had a lot of work to perhaps " change the original form"
Is he carrying something over his sword arm (leftarm on the right of the painting) - perhaps a heavy coat.Perhaps the painting needs a bit of cleaning to reveal the detail in this murky area?Or x-rays??

Whaley Turco,

Louis, I Just checked The Nelson Pattern, it doesn't have a Spiral Pommel like our sword. I found this illustration for a 1754 British Sword. . It has a Pommel, though not a spiral one. Its over all feel is much closer to our sword than the Nelson. And the Time Period is Correct. If he fought at Minden he wouldn't have had a Nelson Pattern Sword. The other thing we haven't considered is this, it might be a French Sword. Battle Booty or Bought before the start of the war. St Malo France is a half days sail from his island. It definitely needs cleaning and an Xray would be great. At the very least unframe it and have a look at the back.

Louis Musgrove,

Aha- have found a sword of the correct design. The sword with a spiral pommel that I had found previously had been described as a "Nelson Pattern " sword, but obviously that was an incorrct description. Have been loking for it again for the last few days ,but without luck- should have bookmarked it . Anyway here is an American found British Officers sword- dated to 1790 by a Birmingham maker " Thomas Gill " and it has a spiral pommel and looks a good match for the sitters sword. It took some finding !!!

Whaley Turco,

Louis you did it. Those are Just like our sword. Which leads us right back to "Can Anyone Access this fellows actual Military records." The earliest that particular style of sword seems to have been made is 1770. And all references to it Call it a British Sword from the American Revolution. One that was also coveted by American officers. If it was BY Gill like one of your examples it would have been around 1775. Raeburn really didn't get going till after his Italy trip about 1784.Then he returned to Edinburgh around 1786 and pretty much stayed there painting the rest of his life. So we would need to place LeGeyt in Scotland or Raeburn on the Channel Isles sometime in the 1780s. After that LeGeyt was stuck at his Post office and Raeburn stayed in Scotland.

Whaley Turco,

More general Dating points. "Epaulettes were introduced into the British army by Royal Warrant of 19th Dec., 1768. This prescribed that cavalry officers should have an "embroidered or laced Epaulette of Gold or Silver, with Fringe, on the Left Shoulder," with the exception of Light Dragoons, who were to have one on each shoulder; while infantry officers should wear a similar epaulette "on the Right Shoulder," with the exception of officers of the Grenadier Company of each Regiment, who were to have one on each shoulder."

Whaley Turco,

If he is sitting for a Portrait in 1777 then he must have been wounded during the first year of the war. At least we now know what his last regiment was, the 63rd of foot. But that isn't his initial regiment. The 63rd was not at The Battle of Minden. It was in the Caribbean. Le Geyt was a well known participant at Minden. I think we may have dated the sword wrong. We assumed it couldn't be older than 1770. But we have no proof of that. The 1777 portrait looks to be a fellow in his mid 40s which LeGeyt would have been at that time. Our Fellow looks to be in his mid 30s and 40 lbs lighter. At the very least Our portrait was painted prior to 1770 and LeGeyt being shipped out to the Americas. Or Louis is correct and our portrait isn't LeGeyt.

Jacob Simon,

This discussion, “Could this portrait be attributed to Henry Raeburn rather than ‘school of’ ”, concerns a portrait identified as Charles William Le Geyt, a prominent figure in Jersey. The discussion ranges across four Art Detective groups and has attracted 69 comments dating to 2014, 2015, 2019 and March-April 2020.

It is suggested that Art UK should remove the tags to the groups, “Portraits: British 19th C” (since the work is clearly 18th century and very likely 1760s) and “Scotland: Artists and Subjects” (since links with Scotland for this portrait of a man from Jersey have not been identified in the discussion and the portrait is certainly not by or close to Raeburn).

The question posed for this discussion, “Could this portrait be attributed to Henry Raeburn?” has been convincingly answered in the negative, not least because Raeburn was still a child when the portrait was painted. The discussion has gone on to try to identify the actual artist. It is not helped by the dark background in the portrait which may in the past have been treated differently to the figure itself which has definitely been cleaned.

Various posts point to the portrait having been painted in the 1760s, and possibly in 1763, the year of Le Geyt’s marriage in London, when he would have been 30 years old. This dating eliminates Hoppner, Fagan and Raeburn as candidates. The possibility of a French artist has been mentioned but the canvas size and style point to Britain and there is no evidence for a French connection despite Jersey’s location. Running through the other names in the order of mention in the discussion. Kettle (4 July 2014) is an interesting suggestion but the portrait seems to lack this artist’s rather long faces and even lighting. Hone (5 July 2014) is another good suggestion, perhaps the best, though the portrait lacks the glow and softness that Hone brings to his images at his best. Gainsborough (10 July 2014) is altogether lighter in touch as set out in another post (15 July 2014). Chamberlin (8 April 2020) is craggier and harder in style and rarely indulges in strong lighting effects.

Subject to the input of other Group Leaders and of course of the collection, I would suggest that “School of Henry Raeburn” be taken down. In its place, unless further evidence is forthcoming, one could use “Unknown artist”. Or provide some sort of hook if that is what the collection would like, perhaps “Circle of Nathaniel Hone”.

Jersey Heritage,

Thank you every one for your fascinating comments, I think in this case we will go with Unknown Artist.

Thank you to Jacob for summarising the discussion and to Jersey Heritage for a swift reply. The discussion will be drawn to a conclusion by Jenny Spencer-Smith, group leader for Military Subjects.

Jenny Spencer-Smith,

After a long debate over this intriguing portrait and following Jacob Simon's succinct summary of the issues concerning its attribution, Jersey Heritage have accepted the suggestion to record it as by an unknown artist. Thanks to Neil Jeffares, we have the evidence of the uniform to point to a specific period of time. Charles William Le Geyt served with the 94th Regiment of Foot, or Royal Welsh Volunteers, as a Captain from 28 February 1760 until some time in 1763 (in the National Archives' online printed Army List of that year his name has been excised in pen), when in any case the regiment was disbanded. With thanks to all those who have contributed, I recommend that the discussion is now concluded.

Win Ko,

My grandmother was an avid collector of British Portrats and I clearly remeber her comments on how Tilly Kettle treated the eye in her portraits, she sometimes refered to her as the "crosseyed painter" although that is a vast exageration there is a bit of truth I beleive to the characteristics of the eyes in her work.
On another topic can anybody share some thoughts on this portrait that I was lucky to acquire from grandma Ramsey.

Jenny Spencer-Smith,

Thank you for your comments, but we have debated the possibility of Tilly Kettle amongst other artists, and concluded that there is not sufficient stylistic reasons to make an attribution to him (please see Jacob Simon's summary above).

Please also note that this forum is for the discussion of works of art held in public collections, listed on the Art UK website, not in private ownership.