portrait of an officer c1710 attributed to sir godfrey kneller

Portrait of an Officer c.1710; Attributed to Sir Godfrey Kneller.


Price

£10,950
| $14,580 USD | €12,407 EUR


Item Number

8894

Description

Oil on canvas in the original high quality carved and giltwood frame.
A fine portrait of a military officer, almost certainly by Kneller. There is considerable quality here as can be seen, in the face, the hands (often problematic to many artists) and in the totally believable way the officer's clothing is painted.
Although this portrait has descended through one family for at least 160 years the identity of the sitter had been lost. In fact it had come to be believed that the sitter had been an officer in the Peninsular war of 1818-1814 and had served under Wellington! The clothes, the wig...in fact the whole portrait...clearly show a date 100 years earlier than that.
Unknown the sitter may be (although the family say his surname was Witherden) but this is an excellent portrait of the early 18th century.
It is a fine example of the Augustan style portrait for which Kneller is now best remembered. It dates from his later middle period (c.1710), when he produced his most distinguished paintings including the celebrated Kit-Kat series.
SIR GODFREY KNELLER (1646-1723) studied under Ferdinand Bol, and perhaps Rembrandt himself in the 1660s. He was in Rome and Venice between 1672 and 1675, settling in England in 1676 for life. He was soon employed at Court and became the most successful portraitist of the generation following Lely. He enjoyed the office of Principal Painter, at first jointly with John Riley (d.1691), from shortly after the accession of William and Mary in 1688 until his death. He was knighted in 1692 and became a baronet in 1715.
His work fully expresses the spirit of the English Baroque, and includes penetrating studies of many of the leading figures of Whig Society such as the famous Kit-Kat portraits now in the National Portrait Gallery (Beningborough Hall, Yorkshire), which include the likenesses of Sir John Vanbrugh, Charles 3rd Earl of Carlisle, and others.
SIZE: 58 x 48 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE:With a Surrey family for at least a century and a half.
Internal Ref: 8894


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