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Attributed to Charles D'Agar
18TH CENTURY ENGLISH OIL PORTRAIT OF A YOUNG GENTLEMAN IN A BLUE VELVET COAT

1710-120

$17,738.85

About

EARLY 18TH CENTURY ENGLISH PORTRAIT OF A YOUNG GENTLEMAN - ATTRIBUTED TO CHARLES D’AGAR (1669 - 1723) A a sensitively rendered and highly decorative early 18th portrait of a dashing young gentleman attributed to Charles D’Agar. The sitter is pictured half length within an oval cartouche. He wears a long powdered wig and an extravagant costume which includes an electric blue frock coat (with jewelled clasp) and a fine silk cravat. Further decoration is lavished on the feigned oval within which the young man is set. It features palm leaves in grisaille on the bottom and dramatic red curtained drapery at the top. This setting, contrasted with its fine frame, gives this fine portrait a very dramatic and theatrical air. Charles D’Agar (1669-1723). Charles descended from a French family of artists and it is likely that he too was born in Paris. His father was the Parisian painter Jacques D’Agar (1642-1715), who is said to have studied under Jacob Ferdinand Voet. It is largely due to the family’s protestant faith that they eventually left France for England between 1678 and1681, with Jacques having been expelled from the French Academy in 1682. Within a few years, Jacques and his family moved from England to Copenhagen, where he produced several portraits of the Danish nobility. The young Charles returned to London in 1691, and quickly established himself as a court painter. He produced portraits of middling noble houses, including the Grey, Guildford, Harpur, Isham and Winchcombe families. Surviving engravings also show he produced portraits of the Duchess of Montague, the Earl of Strafford and the Countess of Rochford. Amongst the characteristic elements of Charles D’Agar’s is the face pattern he used, which borrows greatly from the likes of Kneller, Dahl and Jervas. In contrast to the two aforementioned painters, D’Agar’s faces often have a much smoother and almost porcelain appearance. The positioning of his sitter’s heads, often with foreheads leaning over to the left, is rather consistent in his portraiture. So too is the bright colouring he employed, showing perhaps the continuation of French influence in his palette. The painterly work in the blue velvet frock coat, with it beautifully preserved impasto strokes for highlights, is particularly fine in this example. So too is the liveliness of the powdered wig, in which great detail is lavished on every lock and curl. This painting relates to another version found in the collection of Magdalene College, University of Oxford. By tradition, this portrait is said to depict one of the college’s most famous eighteenth century fellows, the writer and poet Joseph Addison (1672-1719). This identification is now doubted as Addison would have been in his thirties when this portrait was produced. The Oxford portrait was bequeathed to the college in 1817 by former Magdalen attendee the Revd. Walter Birch (d.1829). Harbouring a keen interesting in poetry, and being a friend of the poet Walter Savage Landor, it is likely that Birch may have been enthusiastic to own a likeness of Addison. Despite his enthusiasm, and generous bequest, the likely identity of this young boy remains unknown. In comparison to the Magdalene College painting, in which these details are far less confident and brilliant, It is likely that the painting offered here is the primary version. The remarkable state of preservation, particularly in the blue pigments, also makes a stark contrast between the pair. Although the Oxford portrait was only bequeathed in the early nineteenth century, it was common for young graduating students of educational establishments to bequeath pictures to their colleges as ‘leaving portraits’, whilst retaining a version for themselves and their families. Judging by the sitter’s youth, it is quite possible that it shows a young nobleman on the cusp of adulthood. A fine surviving portrait such as this, happily contradict Horace Walpole who described Charles’s career as having “rose to great business, though upon a slender merit.” Charles’s life came to an abrupt end in May 1723, with accounts blaming his severe ‘Gout & Stone’. This rare and highly decorative work is in an excellent state of conservation and is ready to hang in a hand carved and gilded 18th century frame. Higher resolution images on request. Worldwide shipping available. Canvas: 29.5” x 24” / 75cm x 61cm. Frame: 34.5" x 29" / 87.5cm x74cm. Internal Ref: 00138 Price: £13,250

Details

  • Artist
    Attributed to Charles D'Agar
  • Creation Year
    1710-120
  • Dimensions
    Height: 34.5 in. (87.63 cm)Width: 29 in. (73.66 cm)Depth: 4 in. (10.16 cm)
  • Medium
  • Movement & Style
  • Period
  • Condition
  • Gallery Location
    London/Yorkshire, GB
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU58936873022

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    Rates vary by destination and complexity.
    Ships From: London/Yorkshire, United Kingdom
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 2 days of delivery.

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