Romney became a leading british portrait painter. He was able to rival even the famous Reynolds. While Romney’s portraits of women sometimes exhibit a certain facile elegance, his portraits of men, like this handsome painting, can be quite powerful. The subject, Robert Gunning, had a distinguished diplomatic career as an ambassador and he was made a Knight of the Order of the Bath (he is portrayed here with the star and collar of the order). This canvas is remarkable for its depiction of fabrics and textures, bold treatment of whites and overall orchestration of colours.