Daniel Minet FSA was the son of Daniel Minet (1699-1730) and Anna-Maria Atkins (1705-43). Described as a ‘gentleman well-versed in the history and antiquities of the Kingdom’ he was elected a Fellow in 1767. He was not an active member and is only known to have made three contributions. This portrait by Gainsborough, at the height of the painter’s fame, was commissioned by the sitter himself with his substantial family inheritance.
The portrait of his wife, Rebecca, was likely to have been painted around the same time of their marriage in 1779. In1899, the two paintings were displayed together the New Gallery on Regent Street. Whilst the two portraits, with either subject facing one another, seem to act as one, there is speculation that they were painted several years apart – this is through the stylistic choices of Gainsborough, who treats Daniel typically of his work in the early 1780s and Rebecca of his work of the late 1770s.