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  • Design Credit: Elizabeth Roberts Architec̦ture & Design, Photo Credit: Dustin Aksland. Dimensions: H 55.12 in. x W 61.82 in.
  • Design Credit: Timothy Godbold, Photo Credit: Karl Simone. Dimensions: H 55.12 in. x W 61.82 in.
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Rudolphus Schmutz
Rare Portrait of Lady with Vase of Flowers, Signed Dated 1714, Master Painting

Dated 1714

$24,847.85

About the Item

This spectacular large portrait, presented by Titan Fine Art, was painted in 1714 when the artist was at the height of his artistic power. It is signed and dated by Schmutz (R. Schmutz p. 1714) and is an extremely rare and important addition to the little-known oeuvre of the artist, and further still, a wider knowledge of the artists that were active at the turn of the 18th century in England. The fact that there are successful engravings after portraits by Schmutz, such as the half-length portrait of the Comedian William Penkethman, created in 1709 further enhances the fact that he was an artist painting celebrated depictions of significant sitters. The discovery of this work may now lead to further research into Schmutz’s oeuvre. Meticulously rendered, the sitter is wearing a pink dress, holding a basket of fruit, whilst a parrot rests in her left hand. The beautiful arrangement of flowers in the urn was likely painted by another artist who specialised in floral painting – collaborations such as this were common. The painting abounds with ingenious flourishes and demonstrations of the painter's skill and superior pictorial technique. The graceful pose, sumptuous costume, rich colour, and brilliant technique are distinctive features of this portrait and it was a type that was in great demand during the 18th century, as it is today. Johann Rudolf Schmutz was born in Regensperg, Switzerland in 1670 and trained under the artist Mathais Füssli. At first Schmutz focused his training on historical paintings however quickly seeing that he was better at portraiture, which was also more profitable, he focused his study on this genre. Schmutz had heard of the success Sir Godfrey Kneller (1646 – 1723) was having in London and therefore left Switzerland to try and rival Kneller’s society portraits in Britain. Although few works are known by Schmutz, he was said to have been a success, and perhaps if he had lived longer, he may have been able to rival some of the great Court artists. His focus was on female portraiture, which is epitomised in this example, showing an elegant reclining female figure. By the turn of the century, this format of portraiture had become popular and similar examples can be seen by the artists Maria Verelst and Michael Dahl, often repeating the composition. By Schmutz’s death in 1715, he had a studio practice in Covent Garden where he was training the young John Ellys (1701 – 57), who went on to succeed Philip Mercier as the principal painter to Frederick, Prince of Wales. In comparing this portrait with the work of Ellys it is clear to see the inspiration taken, with similar compositional format and flesh tones. Held in an impressive Kent style carved and gilded antique frame with egg and dart motif. Provenance: Property of Beatrice Nellie Gillison Stayner (1912-1988) of The Grange, Edith Weston; Sold by orders of her executors Sotheby’s 8 March 1989 [Lot 37]. Beatrice Stayner sold three other mid-18th century portraits in this sale – all were her ancestors and descended from the sitters to her.
  • Creator:
    Rudolphus Schmutz (1670 - 1715, Swiss)
  • Creation Year:
    Dated 1714
  • Dimensions:
    Height: 55.12 in (140 cm)Width: 61.82 in (157 cm)Depth: 2.76 in (7 cm)
  • Medium:
  • Movement & Style:
  • Period:
  • Condition:
    Very good quality and condition. This painting has passed a strict quality and condition check by a professional conservator prior to going on sale. It can be hung and enjoyed immediately.
  • Gallery Location:
    London, GB
  • Reference Number:
    1stDibs: LU119919362002

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