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these visits and his portrait technique. Afirst sitting was used to dead-colour thecanvas and structure the portrait,followed by several sittings for the face,figure and attitude. Without the sitter heworked on drapery and background,before the final sitting to complete theface. Beach carried out all theprocesses himself, usually working on atleast three portraits concurrently, eachtaking between 10 and 17 days tocomplete. Travelling between Dorsethouses, his punishing schedule fromJuly to December probably resulted inmore than 1,000 portraits painted over a40-year career. His Dorset-basedconnections sustained commissionsfrom potentially lucrative clients andsometimes functioned as a form ofcorporate portraiture. Beach paintedmembers of several Dorset hunts; his last major project during the 1790sinvolved 13 officers of the DorsetPORTRAIT OF A COUNTY32NADFAS REVIEW / WINTER Rangers separately sitting tohim for a series of portraitscommissioned by his early patron,Joseph Damer. Several of these featurein the exhibition, including Damer's son,the founding commander, Lord Milton.This important group demonstrates theclose links between patron, artist and aparticular patronage circle, for which thediary has been particularly illuminating. The exhibition recognises the place ofportrait copies, acknowledging theirsignificance to families placing theiremphasis on the image portrayed ratherthan the artist. Ranelagh Barrett's copyof Pompeo Batoni's 1749 head andshoulders portrait of the landowner andphilanthropist Edward Digby 6th LordDigby provides a useful example.Digby's death aged 27 resulted inBarrett's early copy of Edward Digby'slast known image by Batoni -one ofseveral versions painted for the grievingAbove left:SirPeter Thompson(1698-1779),Thomas FryeAbove right:Thomas Rackettthe Younger(1756-1840),George Romney Opposite page:Mr ThomasCoombes ofDorsetshire,aged 108,William HogarthDigby and Fox-Strangways families.Barrett's copy will hang next to that ofEnoch Seeman's mother CharlotteDigby, sister of Stephen Fox, and his fivebrothers, all painted by Joshua Reynoldsin the early 1760s. This Digby group neatlydemonstrates the career choices of theupper classes: as Grand Tourist,landowner, diplomat, court official, admiral,colonel and cleric. Beach's diary revealshe painted copies of his own work. A change of pace reveals sevenportraits of merchants from Poole, oneof Britain's busiest ports. Their wealth,derived from cod fishing and fur tradingwith Newfoundland, enabled them toengage in the unscrupulous world oflocal politicking. Among the 'merchantprinces', Thomas Frye's unpublishedportrait of rich merchant Sir PeterThompson c.1745(Poole Museum)isparticularly fine. An unusual figure,Thompson was not only a trader inImages: © DNH&AS; Poole Museum; Private Collection