Admiral Augustus John was a renowned royal navy as well as a politician. He is known for commanding the sixth-rate of HMS Phoenix as well as many other battles throughout his lifetime. Thomas Gainsborough takes his time to come up with a more lucid portrait of the naval officer. He uses the oil on canvas to come up with the image of Admiral Augustus John Third Earl of Briston something that he achieves flawlessly. During the time the paint was being developed, oil and canvas were the widely used medium. He also makes use of the Rococo style to come up with a perfect image that is detailed enough as well as appealing to whoever sets eyes on it.
Through the painting, Thomas Gainsborough comes up with a close-up of Admiral Augustus John in a creative way. The Admiral is seen in a tilted hat with full naval uniform and buckled black shoes. He is seen holding a telescope while gently leaning against an anchor. Gainsborough uses his deep understanding of art to bring out the intricate details on the clothing of the Admiral while still maintaining the overall simplicity of the painting. Every stroke made gives the painting a more realistic feel something that very few painters can achieve.
Gainsborough paints the Admiral staring into space with a blank face. He is also careful enough to ensure that the ring on the pinky finger of the Admiral is seen. The background is where the magic happens. Painter Thomas Gainsborough uses his painting skills to make sure that the background of the portrait is detailed enough to enhance the portrait but not in a way that it takes concentration from the main subject. A ship can be seen at sea, and this is possible even though only part of the vessel is drawn. In 1966, the painting was purchased with the assistance of the National libraries as well as the pilgrim Trust. It is so far one of the best pictures that were developed by the British painter Thomas Gainsborough.