Portrait of Richard Milles

Image credit: The National Gallery, London

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This is Richard Milles of Nackington, a Member of Parliament for Canterbury from 1761 to 1780, who sat for this portrait when he was in Rome on his Grand Tour. He points to a map inscribed with ‘Grisons’, the name of a Swiss Canton that he probably visited on his way to Italy.

The classical columns at the right and sculpted bust of the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius establish Milles‘ status as a learned, cultivated gentleman. He is magnificently dressed in a red fur-lined cape, a luxurious silver silk waistcoat and red breeches, and Batoni has confidently imitated the various textures and surfaces. Milles’ swaggering pose, with a hand placed firmly on his hip, is one of self-assurance and ease.

Batoni was established in Rome as the most sought-after portraitist of his day, and painted this portrait in around 1759, when he was at his most prolific.

The National Gallery, London



Portrait of Richard Milles


probably 1760s


Oil on canvas


H 134.6 x W 96.3 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Bought, 1980

Work type



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