portrait of lady catherine stanhope c1706 by michael dahl

Portrait of Lady Catherine Stanhope c.1706; by Michael Dahl.



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Oil on canvas in a rare late 19th /early 20th century papier-mache and wood frame. Frames of this type were first made in the early 18th century, but not many have survived.
Inscription, upper right: "Cath(er)ine: dau(ghte)r of 2nd Earl of Chesterfield. Mar(ried)Sir Godfrey Clarke Bart".
CATHERINE STANHOPE, (1675-1728) daughter of Philip Stanhope, 2nd Earl of Chesterfield , married Sir Godfrey Clarke in June 1706; probably this portrait was painted to mark the occasion. She is buried in the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, Brampton, Derbyshire, where her fine and grand memorial still exists.
Her husband, who was the son of Sir Gilbert and Barbara, Lady Clarke, born in 1679, died in 1734. He had been Deputy-Lieutenant of Derbyshire in 1702, and was High Sheriff from 1705-1706.
This portrait is a fine example of the artistís eloquent depiction of aristocratic women. In terms of both draughtmanship and pose Dahlís female portraits are noticeably softer and gentler than Knellerís, and thus allow for a greater versatility in the expression of feminine beauty.
Dahlís works are frequently distinguished by a greater attention to the character of the sitter than those of his rivals, and he particularly allowed a softer aspect to the surfaces of his sitterís costume and drapery. His colours are silvered and luminous, and there is a great charm and sensitivity in the overall expression of the sitter. In this example, the drapery and sitterís turned head impart a subtle sense of movement.
MICHAEL DAHL (1659 - 1743).
Dahl was a painter of exceptional talent and regarded as the only really serious rival to Sir Godfrey Kneller, for royal patronage, during the years 1690-1714. Dahl's patterns were undoubtedly indebted to the fashion set by Kneller, but Dahl had a lighter palette, his brushwork applied in shorter and more careful strokes. His portraits of women show greater modesty and refinement, with none of Kneller's occasional brashness.
His self portrait hangs in the National Portrait Gallery and he is famed for having painted a series of wonderful female portraits for the Duke of Somerset, now at Petworth House, and known as the Petworth Beauties.
Dahl's portraits of members of the Royal family hang at Kensington Palace and Windsor and other examples of his work can be found at the Tate and the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.
SIZE: 39 x 35.5 inches including the frame.
PROVENANCE: Sussex Private Collection, but bought in the USA about 40 years ago.
Internal Ref: 9140


Height = 99 cm (39")
Width = 90 cm (36")
Depth = 9 cm (4")

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