Charles Marsham, 1st Earl of Romney, commissioned a life-size group portrait of his children, Amelia Charlotte, Frances, Harriot and Charles from the much sought-after Gainsborough in July 1787. The children are surrounded by an impressive late summer landscape created entirely from colour. For all the picture's ostentatious informality, the children relate to each other only formally as they collect hazelnuts. Their eyes meet only with difficulty, so that the composition is lacking in convincing inner rapport. lt is clear that Gainsborough added the faces after separate portrait sittings. The apparently spontaneous manner of painting is the product of carefully considered studio planning. This means that the usual distance involved in official portraits in removed in Gainsborough's magnificent late work, but the sense of dignity remains.