Portrait of Ernst Casimir, Count of Nassau-Dietz, ...

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Oil on panel.

This 17th century portrait is based on the main version by Wybrand de Geest in the Rijksmuseum, which is 78 x 51 inches; this superb painting is a rather more manageable 24 x 17 inches.

ERNST CASIMIR I (22 December 1573 – 2 June 1632) was a Count of Nassau-Dietz and Stadtholder of Friesland, Groningen and Drenthe. He was the 11th child of John VI, Count of Nassau-Dillenburg, and Countess Elisabeth of Leuchtenberg. After the death of his father, his counties Nassau-Dillenburg, Nassau-Siegen, Nassau-Dietz, and Vianden were divided among his five living sons. Ernest Casimir followed him as Count of Nassau-Dietz. In 1631, he inherited the small county of Spiegelberg near Lauenstein.

Ernest Casimir was primarily known as an outstanding military leader during the Eighty Years' War. He served under Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange, in the siege of the cities of Steenwijk and Oldenzaal, and Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange, during the Siege of Groenlo and the Siege of 's-Hertogenbosch. As Stadtholder of Groningen, he founded the Nieuweschans fortress in 1628. Although he owned little in Friesland, he was popular there, and people granted his heir the right to rule after his death.

He was killed by a bullet at the siege of Roermond while he was inspecting the trenches in June 1632. His son, Henry Casimir I, succeeded him as count of Nassau-Dietz and as Stadtholder of Friesland, Groningen and Drenthe.

WYBRAND SIMONSZ. DE GEEST (16 August 1592 – c. 1661) was a Dutch Golden Age portrait painter from Friesland. He was born and died at Leeuwarden. He learned painting from his father, Simon Juckesz, a stained glass worker. He studied later with Abraham Bloemaert. From 1614 to 1618 he travelled in France and Italy on a Grand Tour. In 1616 he met up with Leonard Bramer in Aix-en-Provence. While in Rome he became a member of the painters' circle known as the Bentvueghels. He earned the nickname 'De Friesche Adelaar', or "the Frisian Eagle".

De Geest married Hendrickje Fransdr Uylenburgh in 1622, a niece of Saskia van Uylenburgh, the wife of Rembrandt. In 1634, just before his own marriage, Rembrandt visited De Geest's studio. In 1636 the Frenchman Charles Ogier, secretary to Cardinal Richelieu visited De Geest, to view his large collection of curiosities and coins.
De Geest was the most important portrait painter of Friesland and painted numerous portraits of the well-to-do citizens of his day, many of which survive in the Fries Museum. Perhaps the most intimate portraits he painted were those of his direct family. De Geest influenced Jacob Adriaensz Backer, and his students were Jan Jansz. de Stomme, and Jacob Potma. His sons Julius and Frank also became painters.

SIZE: 29 x 22.5 inches including the frame.
PROVENANCE: English Private Collection for many generations.



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This is a superbly decorative Baroque painting, typical of the artist’s work, vibrant and of great interest. The depiction of the different materials, especially the lace, is fantastic.
Represented as Venus and Adonis, it is possible that the two sitters are Louise, Duchess of Portsmouth, and her son, Charles, 1st Duke of Richmond, illegitimate son of Charles II and Louis de Kerouaille. They are shown within the grounds of a great palace, jewels abound, and the dogs are those favourites of the monarch, King Charles spaniels.
Gascar painted Louise and her son on several occasions. The boy was born in 1672, so that would make him about 13 at the time of this portrait.

The identities are pure speculation, but backed by a strong facial resemblance to other examples of her portrait by Gascar, plus the royal quality and quantity of the jewellery worn, and the signature Stuart lapdogs, all within the purlieus of a great palace, it is far from unreasonable.
It is evident that the portrait was once rectangular, but modified to fit this spectacular frame; the subject sits well within the frame, but the clue is the hindquarters of a dog (lower right) which now seems, amusingly, to be hiding under the frame.

LOUISE RENEE de PENANCOET de KEROUALLE, Duchess of Portsmouth (5 September 1649 – 14 November 1734) was a mistress of Charles II of England. Louise was early introduced to the household of Henrietta Anne Stuart, Duchess of Orléans, sister of Charles II of Great Britain, and sister-in-law of Louis XIV of France. Louis de Rouvroy, duc de Saint-Simon, asserts that her family threw her in the way of Louis XIV in the hope that she would become a royal mistress.
The titles of Baroness Petersfield, Countess of Fareham and Duchess of Portsmouth were granted to her for life on 19 August 1673. Her pensions and money allowances of various kinds were enormous. In 1681 alone she received £136,000. The French court gave her frequent presents, and in December 1673 conferred upon her the title Duchess of Aubigny in the Peerage of France at the request of Charles II.

Louise's thorough understanding of Charles' character enabled her to retain her hold on him to the end.

(CHARLES LENNOX, 1st Duke of Richmond, 1st Duke of Lennox, KG (29 July 1672 – 27 May 1723), of Goodwood House near Chichester in Sussex, was the youngest of the seven illegitimate sons of King Charles II, and was that king's only son by his French-born mistress Louise de Kérouaille, Duchess of Portsmouth.)

HENRI GASCAR (1635 – 1 Jan 1701) (also Gascard, Gascars) was a French-born portrait painter who achieved artistic success in England during the reign of Charles II. He painted many leading ladies at court, including several of the King's mistresses, before returning to Paris.
Gascar came to England about 1674, probably at the behest of Louise de Keroualle, Duchess of Portsmouth, Charles II's favourite mistress.
The patronage of the Duchess of Portsmouth ensured Gascar a rapid success in England.] His flamboyant style, contrasting with the stolid English approach, seemed to suit the frivolity of the time and he painted many of the ladies of Charles II's court. His lack of attention to detail in the likeness he made up for by the sumptuous draperies.
Canvas size: 39 x 47.25 inches.
PROVENANCE: Probably Marquis d’Havrincourt,
Comte Gérard de Cardevac, (1902 – 1998),
Rouillac, Chateau de Cheverny, 6 June 1999 (lot 17),
Walid Juffali (1955 – 2016), Bishopsgate House,
The Walid Juffali Collection, Bishopsgate House, Bonhams, 26 March 2018.
Private Collection, Windsor.


Portrait of Judith Morice c.1730, by Enoch ...

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Oil on canvas in a period gilt frame.
This is a fine and sensitive portrait of a young woman by Enoch Seeman, who painted her on at least two occasions. She was also painted by Allan Ramsay in an elegant full-length as the goddess Diana (Virginia Museum of Fine Arts).

JUDITH MORICE (1710-1743) was the second daughter of Humphry Morice of Werrington, near Launceston, Cornwall. On the 5th of June 1742 she married Sir George Lee, a Whig politician.
She died aged 33, and is buried in the vault of the Lee family in Hartwell Church, Buckinghamshire.

ENOCH SEEMAN the Younger (c. 1694 - March 1744) was a painter, active in England in the first half of the eighteenth century. He was born into a family of painters in Danzig (now Gdansk, Poland), around 1694.
Seeman was brought to London from his home of Flanders by his father, also Enoch (born 1661), in 1704. As a painter to the British royal court Seeman the Younger completed portraits of George I, in 1730, in the robes of his coronation and of George II some years later. The first of these pictures is held at the Middle Temple in London, England, and the second is at Windsor Castle in Berkshire, England, part of the Royal Collection.
He had a successful practice and his female portraits were much admired.
He died in 1744.
SIZE: 36 x 31 inches framed.
PROVENANCE: Presumably Hartwell Hall, home of the Lees.
Ruyton Hall, Shropshire.

Portrait of a Young Lady c.1730, ...

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Oil on canvas in a gilded frame.
The identity of the sitter is, at the present, unknown; however, she was painted by the same artist, and is in an identical frame to our portrait of Judith Morice (also on this website). We acquired them both from the same country house where they were hung together.
So it seems quite likely that this attractive young lady was a member of either the Morice or the Lee families.
Regardless of the sitter's identity, this is a charming and sensitive portrait.
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 to the King, 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 his influence on other artists was great.

SIZE: 36 x 31 inches framed.
Ruyton Hall, Shropshire.

Portrait of an Officer, c. 1840; Studio ...

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Oil on canvas in the original gilded frame.
Portrait of an Infantry officer in undress uniform, c.1834-1848. The young sitter looks to one side as if lost in thought; his carefully tousled hair and 'mutton chop' side whiskers were the very height of fashion.

SIR FRANCIS GRANT P.R.A . (18 January 1803 – 5 October 1878) was a Scottish portrait painter who painted Queen Victoria and many distinguished British aristocratic and political figures. He served as President of the Royal Academy.
Grant was the fourth son of Francis Grant, Laird of Kilgraston, near Bridge of Earn, Perthshire, and his wife Anne Oliphant of Rossie. Grant was educated at Harrow School and Edinburgh High School.
In 1840 he exhibited an equestrian group of Queen Victoria riding with Lord Melbourne and others in Windsor Park, and became the fashionable portrait-painter of the day. His portrait of Lady Glenlyon, exhibited in 1842, increased his reputation, and for nearly 40 years graceful portraits in the Royal Academy exhibitions came from his studio.

Elected an associate of the Royal Academy in 1842, Grant in 1851 became an Academician. In 1866, on the death of Charles Eastlake, Edwin Landseer turned down the seat of Academy President, and Grant was elected instead. He was knighted that year.
After some years of gradually failing health, Grant died of heart disease suddenly at his residence, The Lodge, Melton Mowbray, on 5 October 1878, and was interred in the Anglican cemetery, his relations having declined the usual honour of burial in St Paul's Cathedral. His funeral was conducted by the Archbishop of York on 12 October and many of the leading British artists attended, including Edward John Poynter, Edward Armitage, Thomas Woolner, Philip Hermogenes Calderon, and the American Albert Bierstadt.

SIZE: 40 x 34.25 inches including the frame.
PROVENANCE: Dorset Private Collection.