portrait of hester lady godfrey c1635 attributed to theodore russell

Portrait of Hester, Lady Godfrey c.1635; Attributed to Theodore Russell.



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Oil on canvas in an ebonised frame which enhances the jewel like quality of this glowing portrait.
The sitter in this beautiful portrait looks out with a candid gaze, there is a strong sense of intimacy and insight.
A small portrait of this size was probably painted for her parents and was known as a cabinet picture. At this period a 'cabinet' was a small, intimate and private room where treasured possessions were kept, only very close friends were permitted to enter.
HESTER, LADY GODFREY (1622-1699) was the daughter of Sir John Wyld of Kent. She married Thomas Godfrey of Lyd, knighted in 1641. Sir Thomas bought the manor of Heppington in 1640; he died in 1684. There were no children to the marriage. Hester lived to be 77 and is buried in the 12th century St. Mary's Church, Nackington, Kent, as is her husband. Nackington is a small village south of Canterbury.
Aliases: Theodore Rousel; Theodore Rousseel; Theodore Roussel; Theodore Russel.
Born in London, his father, Nicasius, was a goldsmith and jeweller, who left Bruges for England about 1573 and settled in the parish of St Anne, Blackfriars, London; his second wife, Theodore’s mother, was the sister of Cornelis Jonson van Ceulen.
The Russells were connected with the Gheeraerts, de Critz and Oliver families. Theodore’s son, Anthony Russell, who provided George Vertue with information concerning 17th-century artists, stated that Theodore had studied under Jonson and van Dyck, had been employed by such patrons as the 3rd Earl of Essex and the 1st Earl of Holland, and ‘was a lover of ease & his Bottle’
Signed portraits by him are rare. A set of five bust-length portraits at Knebworth House, Herts, includes a male portrait, signed and dated 1644. They are sensitive works in the manner of Johnson.
SIZE: Canvas 10 x 8 inches; framed size 16.75 x 14.5 inches.
PROVENANCE: Long established London Private Collection.
VERSO: A giltwood plaque bearing the inscription "Hester, Lady Godfrey. b1622 d1699. Wife of Sir Thomas Godfrey, by Theodore Russell."
Internal Ref: 9007


Height = 42 cm (17")
Width = 37 cm (15")
Depth = 8 cm (3")

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