portrait of mrs harrison 1719 by sir godfrey kneller

Portrait of Mrs. Harrison 1719, by Sir Godfrey Kneller.



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Oil on canvas in good quality replica period frame of correct type.
Signed and dated 'G. Kneller fecit 1719' lower left, also a later inscription 'Mrs. Harrison'.
This portrait perfectly demonstrates Kneller's transition from the earlier Baroque style, as popularised by Sir Peter Lely, to the new Augustan manner of portraiture.
In this style, in the reign of King George I, dignity and 'gravitas' was all.
In this portrait Kneller divides the canvas into blocks of pure colour, which harmonise superbly; the blue and white meet in wedges against a stone background. This style became extremely fashionable and was much emulated by other artists of the day.
At his best Kneller achieved a splendid likeness and had great power of interpreting character as well as virtuosity of handling. Mrs. Harrison is depicted as a real person, not as a fashionable cipher; she regards the artist (and thus the viewer) slightly askance.
It is worthy of note that the hands are beautifully painted, lesser artists often have a problem with their depiction.
SIR GODFREY KNELLER Bt. (1646 - 1723) was the most profound influence on late 17th and 18th c. portraiture, his work fully expresses the spirit of the times. By 1679 he had painted King Charles II and remained the most famous and successful portrait painter in England; in 1688 he was appointed Principal Painter to the King. He was knighted in 1692 and became a baronet in 1715.
SIZE:55.5 x 45.5 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: Private Collection, Sussex.
Internal Ref: 8704

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