portrait of mr dennis c1695 by sir godfrey kneller

Portrait of Mr. Dennis c.1695, by Sir Godfrey Kneller.



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Oil on canvas in a fine period carved and giltwood frame.
A remarkably insightful portrait in which a real sense of the character of the sitter is shown; not a mere fashionable cypher..."A Whig in a Wig"..this is a real person.
Verso; an old handwritten label "Mr. Dennis who married a Daughter of Sir John Houblon".
John Houblon was born in 1632 to a strictly Protestant family, and raised into the family business of merchant shipping. Samuel Pepys made frequent references to the Houblon family, most notably when they bailed him out of imprisonment in the Tower of London.
John later married Marie, the daughter of a Flemish refugee and acquired the lease on a house in Threadneedle Street in 1671. As a prominent merchant, he became renowned in London for his fair business dealings and generous public spirit, and his standing in the community grew, resulting in a knighthood in 1689.
Sir John then became Lord Mayor of London in 1695 and was a Lord Commissioner of the Admiralty between 1693 and 1699. When the Bill for the foundation of a national Bank was approved in Parliament, Sir John was instrumental in both financial investment and creating the managing structure, taking up his position as the first ever Governor of the Bank of England on Tuesday 10th July 1694.
After the death of Lady Houblon in 1732 Sir John Houblonís house and gardens became the site of the Bank of England, and remains so to this day. A portrait of Sir John was on the £50 note for 20 years until 2014. The design on the back of the Houblon note even featured an image of his original house in Threadneedle Street.
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: 37 x 32 x 2.25 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: Collection of a deceased Professor of an Oxford College.
Internal Ref: 9027


Height = 94 cm (37")
Width = 81 cm (32")
Depth = 6 cm (3")

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