soldportrait of a lady c1720 follower of kneller

SOLD....Portrait of a Lady c.1720; Follower of Kneller.


Price

POA

Item Ref

NP103

Description

Oil on canvas in gilded frame.
A delightful portrait of a young lady in the early 18th century. Fashionably clad in her 'undress', her hair 'a la mode', she sits, lost in thought.
There are many hints that this is probably a betrothal portrait.
In her hair the lady wears pearls...symbol of purity and love.
To her right the sitter rests her elbow on an urn - the symbol of female fecundity - to further make the point, the urn bears an image of a naked nymph.
From the urn grows an orange tree. It was inconceivable to get married without flowers from the orange tree for the bride's bouquet. The orange tree's symbolic role came from the fact that the tree bears leaves, flowers and fruit at the same time. It was seen as an emblem of love and marriage; the leaves are always green and symbolise lifelong love, its white flowers symbolise the fiancee's sincerity, while the fruits, which ripen between the flowers, represent hope for an heir. Significantly, the sitter rests the flowers in her lap.
An especially charming aspect of this portrait is its size. Its three quarter length format was normally reserved for canvases of 50 x 40 inches, but this painting's size gives it a more intimate feel; possibly it was meant as a gift for the husband to be.
SIR GODFREY KNELLER (1646-1723) was the most distinguished painter of baroque portraits in England.
Born in Lubeck, he trained with Bol and Rembrandt, coming to London in 1676.
By 1679 he had painted the King and remained the most famous and successful portrait painter in England until his death.
In 1688 he was made Principal Painter to the King and was knighted in 1692 and a made a baronet in 1715.
His style had a profound influence on British portraiture and a large number of artists, many very talented in their own right, emulated his fashionable style.
SIZE:29.27 x 26 imches inc. frame.
Canvas size: 22.75 x 19.25 inches.
PROVENANCE: The Collection of a Lady of Title, East Sussex.
Internal Ref: NP103



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