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William Walsh divided his time between his family home in Worcestershire and London, where he was a well-known wit and 'man about town'. He mixed with many prominent literary figures, including the poet William Congreve and the playwright and architect Sir John Vanbrugh, fellow members of the Kit-cat Club with whom he wrote a comic play in 1704. Walsh died aged forty-six, having never married. He wrote of love: 'there is not one folly of that kind (excepting marriage) which I have not already committed'.
c.1708 & 1730s/1740s
oil on canvas
H 91.4 x W 71.1 cm
Given by the Art Fund, 1945. On long-term loan to Beningbrough Hall, Yorkshire