portrait of mary lady killigrew c1637 studio of sir anthony van dyck

Portrait of Mary, Lady Killigrew c.1637: Studio of Sir Anthony van Dyck.


Price

SOLD

Item Number

8812

Description

Oil on canvas, unframed.
Lady Killigrew here gazes out at the viewer directly. By the late 1630s, van Dyck seems to have devised for his female portraits a less specifically fashionable form of dress. Clearly the prestige of being painted by him was such that his sitters were prepared to accept this. Mary is shown in just such a gown – simplified, and minus the kind of richly textured lace that was so time-consuming to paint – and which has thus become a ‘timeless’ version of contemporary dress. It is clear that van Dyck had absorbed ideas from Venetian painters.
Van Dyck maintained a busy studio; he had a number of talented assistants to help meet the demand for his work. Working under his eye they would produce copies of his portraits if more than one was required.
MARY HILL (c.1610 -1686) was the daughter of John Hill of Honiley, Warwickshire. She married Sir William Killigrew, son of Sir Robert Killigrew and Mary Wodehouse, in 1626.
Sir William Killigrew (1606-1695) was a courtier to Charles I, and also later a playwright. Mary was a dresser to the queens Catherine of Braganza and Henrietta Maria.
William Killigrew was knighted by Charles I in May 1626 – probably shortly after his marriage to Mary Hill. They took a Grand Tour of Europe before Sir William was elected M.P. for Newport and Penryn in Cornwall, and appointed Governor of Pendennis castle and Falmouth Haven. He was made Gentleman Usher to King Charles I, studying with him at Oxford and commanding one of the horse troops that guarded the King during the Civil War.
The couple were to have seven children in all. As Royalists, the couple were forced by poverty to live apart during the Civil War and Commonwealth period. They were re-united at the Restoration of the Stuart monarchy in 1660, when Sir William regained his earlier court post and Lady Mary became dresser to the dowager Queen Henrietta-Maria.
SIR ANTHONY VAN DYKE (1599-1641) was the greatest master of the European baroque portrait. Born in Antwerp, he first visited England in 1620. In 1632 he entered the service of King Charles I as Court Painter, and was knighted in 1633.
His clientele was essentially the aristocratic circle of courtiers, many of whom lived in a romantic Royalist dream world which collapsed in ruins in the Civil War, soon after Van Dyck's death.
Sir Anthony Van Dyke's influence on the art of the portrait is almost beyond measure.
SIZE:29.5 x 24.5 inches.
PROVENANCE: With Philip Mould (Historical Portraits).
Private Collection.
Internal Ref: 8812



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