David Anderson was referred to as
"My favourite Diplomat" by Warren Hastings.
DA and WH became close friends and agreed to commission portraits that
they would then exchange. David Anderson commissioned Henry Raeburn and
Warren Hastings was going to commission Joshua Reynolds - this was seen as
the great painting competition by the master and his student; unfortunately Reynolds was unable to paint the portrait
for Hastings as
his sight had
deteriorated and he had in fact died before the paintings were
finished. Lemual Francis Abbot was eventually found and commissioned to paint the Hastings
portrait; Hastings was so pleased with the results that he had several
others produced from further sittings and also by other artists. The
primary painting is still in the
Anderson Collection and the
National Portrait Gallery in London own the copy that belonged to
Mrs Warren Hastings.
The painting of Anderson by Raeburn was returned to the Anderson family
after the death of Hastings but was unfortunately sold around 1910 and
is now in the possession of the
National Gallery of Art in Washington,
USA. We would have loved to reunite the portrait with the
Hastings portrait, letter and receipt in the collection but this
is not possible - we will have to make do with our copy.