portrait traditionally said to be of sir jeffrey hudson 17th18th century after daniel mytens

Portrait traditionally said to be of Sir Jeffrey Hudson, 17th/18th century, After Daniel Mytens.


Price

£6,950
| $9,254 USD | €7,875 EUR


Item Ref

8893

Description

Oil on canvas in a later giltwood frame.
This portrait is after one, exactly the same size, in the collection of The National Portrait Gallery. Acquired in 1910 it was said to be of Hudson by Mytens until quite recently; they now say 'Unknown man, formerly known as Jeffrey Hudson, by unknown artist, mid 17th century'.
Also in the NPG collection is a line engraving of the portrait, naming the sitter as Hudson, published in 1810, by James Stow after Daniel Mytens. Again, the NPG now say unknown artist and sitter.
The famous writer and antiquary George Vertue (1684 24 July 1756) wrote in his section on Mytens "At St. James's is Jeffrey Hudson the dwarf, holding a dog by a lead string, in a landscape.... A later footnote adds "there is a repetition of the picture at Holyrood House".
SIR JEFFREY HUDSON (1619 circa 1682) was an English court dwarf at the Court of Queen Henrietta Maria. He was famous as the "Queen's dwarf" and "Lord Minimus", and was considered one of the "wonders of the age" because of his extreme but well-proportioned smallness. Knighted by the Henrietta Maria, he fought with the Royalists in the English Civil War and fled with the Queen to France, but was expelled from her court when he shot and killed William Crofts in a duel. Crofts was a powerful figure as the Queen's Master of Horse and head of her Lifeguard. Initially sentenced to death he was exiled.
Within months, aged 25, Hudson was on a ship that was captured by Barbary pirates; he spent 25 years as a slave in North Africa before being ransomed back to England.
On his return Hudson lived in Oakham for several years, where he was interviewed and a short record of his life made, by an antiquarian named James Wright. In 1676 Hudson returned to London, perhaps to seek a pension from the Royal Court. He had the misfortune of arriving at a time of turbulent anti-Catholic activity, which included the "Popish Plot" of Titus Oates (also from Oakham), and was imprisoned "for a considerable time" at the Gatehouse prison. Being a "Roman Catholick" was his only recorded offence, but he was not released until 1680. He died about two years later on an unknown date, in unknown circumstances, buried in an unmarked Catholic paupers' grave.
(Our thanks to Richard Grigson for his invaluable help.)
Danil Mijtens (Delft, c. 1590 The Hague, 1647/48), known in England as DANIEL MYTENS the Elder, was a Dutch portrait painter who spent the central years of his career working in England. He was born in Delft into a family of artists and trained in The Hague, possibly in the studio of Van Mierevelt.
SIZE: canvas 49 x 32 inches.
Frame 55.5 x 39 inches.
PROVENANCE: Private Collection, Belgium.
Internal Ref: 8893


Dimensions

Height = 141 cm (56")
Width = 99 cm (39")
Depth = 5 cm (2")


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