soldportrait of a lady c1660 circle of john michael wright

SOLD....Portrait of a Lady c.1660; Circle of John Michael Wright



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Oil on canvas in a veneered ogee frame surmounted by the sitter's coat of arms.
The sitter is depicted in the Arcadian landscape so fashionable at the time [Arcady, or Arcadia, was the mythical land where beauty, innocence and joy reigned].
Unusually, the sky is depicted as stormy and dark, but this serves only to emphasise the serene beauty of the young woman who appears radiant against the darkness.
The sitter is as yet unidentified, [the arms are not those of the Thorolds], so it seems most likely that she married into that family in the mid 17th century.
JOHN MICHAEL WRIGHT (1617-1694) was one of the most successful native English artists of the seventeenth century. With earlier contemporaries such as Robert Walker and William Dobson, he was one of only a few English painters to find favour amongst the top echelons of society. At the height of his fame, he styled himself ‘Pictor Regius’ [The King’s Painter]
His career was all the more remarkable in an era when patrons continued their traditional preference for foreign artists, as they had done from Holbein to Van Dyck.
Wright’s success lay in his uniquely diverse artistic background and training. Although born in London, he first trained in Scotland under George Jamesone. He then left for Italy and stayed in Rome for a decade from 1642, working amongst contemporaries such as Poussin and Velazquez. In 1648 he became a member of the Academy of St Luke. He returned to London in 1656, after having spent time in France and Flanders. No other English artist before Wright had travelled and studied so extensively on the Continent.
SIZE: 46 x 38 inches canvas
60 x 47 inches framed inc. crest.
Syston Hall, Grantham [demolished in 1923] the former seat of the Thorold family. (NOTE: the fifth image shows Syton Hall in the early 20th c)
By descent to John Thorold.
Verso: a damaged handwritten 19th c. label: "Gertrude Sophia Caler... From: ...Wharton Ing...dle"
Internal Ref: 8452

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