The dark blue facings or collar and cuffs of this unknown sitter’s uniform indicate that he served with a ‘Royal’ Regiment of Foot, one that is authorised to bear the words ‘Queen’s’, ‘King’s’ or ‘Royal’ in its title. The gorget and crimson sash distinguish him as an officer, while the manner in which the sash is worn across the chest rather than round the waist, together with the absence of epaulettes, suggest that the uniform pre-dates the Royal Clothing Warrant of 1768.
Born in London in 1735, Tilly Kettle was the first British portraitist of any note to work in India. He arrived in India in 1769 and he made a successful career painting prominent Europeans such as Warren Hastings, Governor-General of Fort William, as well as Indian royalty like the Nawabs of Arcot and Oudh.
Where to see this painting?
National Army Museum
Royal Hospital Road
Chelsea, London, Greater London, England, SW3 4HT
If you are planning a visit to see this painting, check with the collection first. Paintings can be moved at short notice.