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Kneller Godfrey
Portrait of a Lady in a Blue Gown Holding a Sheer Scarf c.1675-85, Oil on canvas

circa 1675-1685

About the Item

Portrait of a Lady in a Blue Gown Holding a Sheer Scarf c.1675-85 Studio of Sir Godfrey Kneller (1646-1723) Titan Fine Art present this captivating portrait by the leading late seventeenth and early eighteenth-century court artist, Sir Godfrey Kneller, shows Kneller’s delicate and intimate approach to his female faces, and is very like his individual portrait drawings with their emphasis on sharp features and alluring eyes. The sitter is unencumbered by high fashion or a background of stately topography. The emphasis is instead placed directly on the alluring femininity, and enhanced by the loose drapery and falling hair around her shoulder. Over a white smock with voluminous sleeves, the sitter is wearing a cobalt blue silk gown with slashed sleeves held with huge diamond claps and pearl clasps on the bodice. At her breast she holds the gauze scarf that has been draped around her left shoulder. The hairstyle, known as the hurluberlu, first appeared around 1671. In the celebrated letters of Madame de Sévigné she accounted “Now just imagine the hair parted peasant fashion to within two inches of the back roll; the hair each side is cut in layers and made into round loose curls which hang about an inch below the ear; it looks very young and pretty - two bouquets of hair on each side... a large curl on top which sometimes falls down the neck.” The fashionable hairstyle and clothing exude a sense of status and Augustan decorum and help to date this portrait to circa 1675 to 1685. This portrait was painted at the cusp of a new style… the Augustan style, which is generally taken to begin with the formation of a sophisticated metropolitan culture based partly on the new political order introduced by the constitutional settlement of 1688/9. Soon, sitters were to be portrayed no longer as a glittering court beauty with minutiae of fashion and fabric, but rather more restrained with a sense of simplicity and harmony, and Kneller excelled at this. Contemporary critics described Kneller’s work as a “nobler Beauty.” Nevertheless, bad dress equalled bad manners and the aims of the Augustan society were elegance and cadence. Sir Godfrey Kneller (1646-1723) dominates our understanding of British portraiture at the turn of the seventeenth century. With Van Dyck, Lely and Reynolds, his name has become synonymous with the visual interpretation of British history – not least because he painted almost every person of prominence in forty years of British public life. This reputation was well-deserved, and although Kneller's age embraced many accomplished painters - John Closterman, for example, Jonathan Richardson the Elder, or Michael Dahl- none came close to Kneller in immediate fame, or in such instant association in the popular mind with the exercise of portraiture. Kneller is remembered for having painted ten ruling sovereigns, including every reigning British monarch from King Charles II to King George I. Kneller, an artist of German origin (born in Lübeck) and Dutch and Italian training, arrived in England probably in 1676, apparently attracted by a wish to see and study the works of Van Dyck' although Bainbrigg Buckeridge says that “By the importunity of some friends he was prevailed on to come into England'. Finding plentiful patronage in a society particularly well-disposed towards portrait-painting, he stayed and became a naturalised Englishman in 1683. Lely's death in 1680 left a huge gap in the market for court portraiture, and Kneller's new manner may have been part of a bid to fill this. By the middle of the decade, his reputation assured and his business booming Kneller had the confidence to develop a more independent style. Measurements: Height 93cm, Width 80cm, Depth 7cm framed (Height 36.5”, Width 31.5”, Depth 2.75” framed
  • Creator:
    Kneller Godfrey (1646 - 1723, English)
  • Creation Year:
    circa 1675-1685
  • Dimensions:
    Height: 36.62 in (93 cm)Width: 31.5 in (80 cm)Depth: 2.76 in (7 cm)
  • Medium:
  • Movement & Style:
  • Period:
  • Condition:
    The condition is very good and can be hung and enjoyed immediately. The painting has passed a strict condition assessment by a professional conservator prior to going on sale.
  • Gallery Location:
    London, GB
  • Reference Number:
    1stDibs: LU1199113464452
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During this first period which lasted about 7 years, Oudry produced works of great diversity, both in the genres that the artist tackled and in the artists which influenced him. It has been estimated that he painted about 150 pictures during this period: mainly portraits, but also still lifes and some religious paintings and landscapes. Of the hundred or so portraits that Oudry is said to have painted during this period, only fifteen have been identified today. A number of those lost portraits are probably still confused with works by Largillière. First admitted to the Académie de Saint-Luc in 1708, he was then allowed to join the Académie Royale in 1717, and subsequently admitted as a history painter in 1719. This year marks a turning point from which Oudry will assert himself as an animal painter. In 1723 he met Louis Fagon, Intendant of Finances, and the Marquis de Beringhen, the King's first equerry, who became both friends and patrons of the artist, giving him access to royal commissions and enabling him to be appointed as painter of the Royal Tapestry Factory of Beauvais in 1726. From 1728 onwards, the creation of tapestries became the core of his work, even though at the same time Oudry developed his skill as an illustrator, first for Scarron's Roman Comique and then for La Fontaine’s Fables. Between 1726 and 1731, Oudry created the decoration of a large drawing room at the château de Condé-en-Brie, about twenty kilometres from Brécy, which has remained in place to this day. This important commission, about which few details are known, is said to have originated with the Countess de Verrüe, a great lady of the French Regency who often stayed at Condé with her friend Jean-François Leriget, Marquis de la Faye, then owner of Condé. 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    Materials

    Canvas, Oil

  • 17th-18th Century By Niccolò Cassana Portrait of a Gentleman Oil on Canvas
    Located in Milano, Lombardia
    Expertise by Prof. Davide Dotti. Expertise by Prof. Anna Orlando.
    Category

    17th Century Old Masters Portrait Paintings

    Materials

    Canvas, Oil

  • 16th Century By Circle of Giovan Battista Moroni Portrait of Woman Oil on Canvas
    Located in Milano, Lombardia
    Giovan Battista Moroni (circle of) (Albino, 1520 – 1580 ca.) Portrait of a woman Oil on canvas, cm. 46 x 40 - with frame cm. 55,5 x 50,5 Antique shaped and gilded wooden cassetta frame. Publications: unpublished. The present portrait shows an adult woman, no longer young, as can be seen from her slightly blistered cheeks, but not elderly either. The suspicious and veiledly inquisitive gaze is well matched by the elegance of her extremely fashionable black clothes...
    Category

    16th Century Old Masters Portrait Paintings

    Materials

    Canvas, Cotton Canvas, Oil

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