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This painting demonstrates the different purposes portraits have served at different periods in history, being created not to flatter the sitter but to act as visual confirmation that Thomas Braithwaite wrote a will. In the seventeenth century it was thought that if it a man was shown to have put his personal affairs in order, then he would have an easier transition to the afterlife. Braithwaite is shown looking pallid and drawn, propped up in his bed.
oil on canvas
66 x 58.5 cm
bequeathed by Colonel G. E. Braithwaite, 1981
Abbot Hall Art Gallery
Kirkland, Kendal, Cumbria LA9 5AL EnglandView venue
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