portrait of a gentleman c1705 by michael dahl

Portrait of a Gentleman c.1705, by Michael Dahl.



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Oil on canvas in a period carved and giltwwod frame.
A good quality portrait absolutely typical of its time; the handsome young sitter wears a fashionably large and expensive wig. (The expression 'bigwig' for a rich or important person comes from this fashion).
Not only typical of its time but also of Dahl's style; the turned head, with more than a hint of swagger, and the negligently draped silk wrap with casual tying of the cravat...all very much 'a la mode' for the young aristocrat or gentry.
MICHAEL DAHL (1659-1743) was born in Stockholm; after studying in Paris, Rome and Frankfurt he settled in London in 1689. He soon became the best patronised portrait painter in England after Kneller. He was much employed at the Court painting many portraits; a great patron of the 1690s was the Duke of Somerset, for whom he painted the series of portraits of Court ladies known as the 'Petworth Beauties'.
His style is extremely close to Kneller but his interpretation of character is less brash and more human. He has a quieter but somehow more understanding appeal to character which relies on its own integrity to make its impact; his works are of a real distinction.
This painting is typical of Dahl's sensitive portraiture and is of considerable charm.
PROVENANCE: H.A. Bright of Brockbury Hall, Colwall, Herefordshire, and by descent to:
A.H. Bright, by whom lent to:
F.Tustin, Colwall, by 1938.
Brights have occupied Brockbury since the time of Henry Bright (1562-1626), prebendary of Worcester and master of King's School. The existing brick house was built by Robert Bright (1664-1749) but has an earlier core. It was refronted in 1738, probably by Robert Bright's grandson, also Robert, a West Indies merchant.
SIZE: 35 x 29.5 inches inc. frame.
Internal Ref: 8926/35

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