portrait of a gentleman traditionally called sir william temple c1705 circle of sir godfrey kneller

Portrait of a Gentleman, traditionally called Sir William Temple, c.1705; Circle of Sir Godfrey Kneller.


| $5,260 USD | €4,476 EUR

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Oil on canvas in a fine carved and giltwood period frame.
The handsome young sitter wears an expensive and fashionable wig as he looks out at the viewer; equally expensive and fashionable is the Indian silk tea gown he is wearing. This was the last word in informal clothing, and so costly that Samuel Pepys had to hire one for his portrait... buying one was beyond his means.
The sitter has been known as Sir William Temple for at least 110 years, but it is clearly not the famous personage; equally good looking but no moustache and painted after that Sir William's death.
Of course, the sitter may also have been called Sir William Temple, but so far research has not been productive.
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: 35.5 x 32 inches framed.
The Collection of Rev. Canon Raymond Pelly, 1907.
With Scott and Fowles, New York (label verso).
Private Collection, Hampstead, London.
London, The Royal Academy Winter Exhibition, 1907, cat. no. 119. Lent by the Rev. Canon Raymond Pelly; as 'Sir William Temple' by Kneller. (label verso).
Internal Ref: 9045


Height = 82 cm (32")
Width = 79 cm (31")
Depth = 6 cm (3")

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