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Captain William Wade was Master of Ceremonies at Bath’s Assembly Rooms from 1769 to 1777. As this magnificent portrait makes clear, Wade’s business was fashionable society. He oversaw protocol and the behaviour of people at balls in the Assembly Rooms. Wade’s clothes are fashionable and impressive and his pose, based on Van Dyck, emphasises his height and elegance. Thomas Gainsborough was based in Bath from 1759 to 1774, where he made a good living painting portraits of wealthy spa visitors.
oil on canvas
H 234.3 x W 153 cm
BATVG : P : 1988.1
purchased with the assistance of the National Art Collections Fund and the National Heritage Memorial Fund, 1988; on loan to the Assembly Rooms, Bath