Finished or Not?

Why does the Gallery prize an unfinished portrait? We don’t know why this painting was left unfinished, but even in its incomplete state it demonstrates the style and virtuosity of one of the nation's leading artists.   We do believe that Copley first began to paint Hurd’s portrait as payment for an engraving that he had commissioned from Hurd. Perhaps Hurd felt that his pose and costume were too informal in the MAG version, and he wished to appear as a more affluent and distinguished gentleman like the merchants whom Copley painted as well.  This may have led to Copley’s abandoning the MAG portrait and embarking on the finished version, now at the Cleveland Museum of Art.   However, as MAG's painting survived by being passed down the through the family, it seems clear that the unfinished portrait was valued and cherished.