Ignatius Sancho, 1768
oil on canvas
73.7 x 62.2 cm
National Gallery of Canada (no. 58)
Ignatius Sancho (1729-1780) was a musician and man of letters who possessed an impressive breadth of learning. His musical compositions and correspondence have been published. Born aboard a slave ship en route from the coast of Guinea to the Caribbean, Sancho was brought to England at the age of two. He spent many years in the service of the Duke of Montagu, during which time he cultivated an interest in the arts. Gainsborough painted this portrait at Bath in 1768, and according to tradition, it took him only an hour and forty minutes to complete.