John Langston, Esquire, was a country gentleman in England of great standing. His dark suit with ruffled blouse and powdered wig are of-the-moment fashion. Langston is standing before an open window depicting a bucolic countryside, perhaps meant to represent his own land holdings in Sarsden. Thomas Gainsborough was one of the most talented and sought-after British portraitists of the 18th century. While he maintained that landscape painting was his first love, his numerous portraits of English nobility brought him great financial rewards.