Joseph Wright, Sir Brooke Boothby. 1781, Oil on canvas. Tate Gallery.
Here we have Sir Brooke Boothby, a poet of sonnets. He was also a writer, publishing his reflections on the French Revolution in 1791 in "A Letter to the Right Honorable Edmund Burke," and again in 1792 with "Observations on the Appeal from the New to the Old Whigs, and on Mr. Paine's Rights of Man. in Two Parts."
Here Sir Boothby lounges in a wooded patch of land surrounded by vegetation and a few sun spots. A little stream of water runs across stones in front of him. The sun sets in the background offering a warm glow on Brooke; the setting provides the ideal place to escape, read and reflect. He has just paused from reading Rousseau, according to the Tate this references his publication of the philosopher's Dialogues.
Brooke wears a frock coat with a turned down collar over a matching waistcoat that appears to be cut across the waist. His breeches feature cloth covered buttons that mimic those on his sleeves. He turns towards us with his waistcoat partly unbuttoned. This suggests that he has been reading alone for a while, unsuspecting of company. With camel gloves and and modern hat, Boothby at 36 years old, is a truly well educated, enlightened and fashionable male.