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Sir Godfrey Kneller Art

British, 1646-1723

Sir Godfrey Kneller was a leading English Baroque portraitist whose subjects included nobility, politicians, poets, writers and other notable figures. His figurative and portrait paintings were in great demand for more than three decades around the turn of the 18th century.

Kneller was born in Lübeck, Germany, in 1646. His father was a painter and a city surveyor, positions which gave Kneller the opportunity of a university education. He studied mathematics at Leiden University in the Netherlands before shifting to painting, studying under luminaries such as Ferdinand Bol and Rembrandt.

In 1672, Kneller moved to Italy where he spent time in Rome and Venice painting portraits for the nobility. Around 1676, he moved to England, where he opened a studio. An encounter with the Duke of Monmouth led to an introduction to King Charles II, and Kneller became a court painter, garnering a reputation for his grand style. The young painter’s portraits had a penetrating quality that evoked the subject’s presence through like-like qualities on canvas.

In 1684, Kneller traveled to France to paint Louis XIV. Following the death of Charles II, he became the court painter for James II and later worked for his successors, William and Mary. Kneller was knighted in 1692 and received an honorary doctorate of law from the University of Oxford in 1695.

Between 1700 and 1720, he painted 42 portraits of members of the Kit-Cat Club, a political and literary group. Mary II also commissioned him to paint the Hampton Court Beauties, a series of paintings featuring the most graceful ladies of the royal court.

In 1711, Kneller became the governor of the London Academy and subsequently won re-election every year until 1718. King George I made him a baronet in 1715.

Kneller died in London in 1723, with hundreds of unfinished paintings remaining in the prolific portrait master's studio.

On 1stDibs, find a collection of Sir Godfrey Kneller’s paintings.

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Artist: Sir Godfrey Kneller
Portrait The Honourable Mrs Elizabeth Tufton (nee Wilbraham)
By Sir Godfrey Kneller
Located in Blackwater, GB
Portrait The Honourable Mrs Elizabeth Tufton (Wilbraham), circa 1710 Sir Godfrey Kneller (1646-1723) Large circa 1710 portrait of The Honourable Mrs E...
Category

Early 18th Century Sir Godfrey Kneller Art

Materials

Oil, Canvas

Portrait of a Young Woman, Sir Godfrey Kneller, Hand carved gilt frame
By Sir Godfrey Kneller
Located in London, GB
Oil on canvas Image size: 30 1/4 x 25 inches (77 x 63 cm) Original hand carved gilt frame Provenance Private Estate, England This is a very fine example of Kneller's work in the e...
Category

Early 18th Century Academic Sir Godfrey Kneller Art

Materials

Canvas, Oil

Portrait of the Countess of Dysart
By Sir Godfrey Kneller
Located in East Grinstead, GB
Portrait of Grace Wilbraham, 1655/1656-1740, later Countess of Dysart. She was married to Lionel Tollemache 3rd Earl of Dysart, the painting was probably commissioned at the point of...
Category

Late 17th Century Sir Godfrey Kneller Art

Materials

Canvas, Oil

Portrait of William Russell, Lord Russell, Oil on Canvas
By Sir Godfrey Kneller
Located in London, GB
Style of Sir Godfrey Kneller 1646 - 1723 Portrait of William Russell, Lord Russell Oil on canvas Image size: 12 x 11 inches (30 x 28 cm) In a period carved gilt frame
Category

18th Century and Earlier Sir Godfrey Kneller Art

Materials

Oil, Canvas

Mrs. Bagnel -
By Sir Godfrey Kneller
Located in Miami, FL
Sir Godfrey Kneller with studio. Let us know if you want to both at the same time and we will see what we can do. See our other accompanying portaint of Mr. Bagnel - They work tog...
Category

1690s Old Masters Sir Godfrey Kneller Art

Materials

Oil

Portrait of Mr. Bagnal ( Pair with Mrs. Bagnal ) Sir Godfrey Kneller and Studio
By Sir Godfrey Kneller
Located in Miami, FL
Sir Godfrey Kneller with studio, Inscribed Mr. Bagnal Lower left. Godfrey Kneller and studio , Unlined, old cleaning. Old Frame. Frame was repainted and has some chipping and a fe...
Category

1710s Old Masters Sir Godfrey Kneller Art

Materials

Oil

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Previously Available Items
Lady Jane Jackson (née Vandeput) (1679-1731), 17th Century
By Sir Godfrey Kneller
Located in Blackwater, GB
Lady Jane Jackson (née Vandeput) (1679-1731), 17th Century by Godfrey Kneller (1646-1723) signed & dated Huge circa 1700 Old Master portrait of Lady Jane Jackson, oil on canvas by Godfrey Kneller. Leading example of Knellers work and beautiful three quarter length portrait of Lady Jackson wearing a red dress with the family estate beyond. Superb condition and provenance. Framed. Signed and dated 17** Jane was the daughter of Sir Peter Vandeput. The Vandeput's were wealthy merchants who had moved from Antwerp to London. She later married Philip Jackson...
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17th Century Sir Godfrey Kneller Art

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Portrait of Thomas Smith Esq, circa 1705, Excellent Quality and Provenance
By Sir Godfrey Kneller
Located in London, GB
Portrait of Thomas Smith Esquire c.1705 Sir Godfrey Kneller Bt. (1646-1723) Inscribed on dog collar ‘Tomas Smith’ This sumptuous large-scale portrait, with its interesting history, was painted by one of the best and most famous English portrait painters, Sir Godfrey Kneller. Kneller completed portraits of all the key figures of the time and was court painter to four sovereigns. He played a key role in the development of British art and influenced countless artists over generations. This portrait is one of his finest Augustan style portraits for which he is now best remembered and it dates from his later middle period when he produced his most distinguished paintings. The sitter is Thomas Smith Esq and inscribed on the dog collar is “Tomas Smith”. It is possible that he is a member of the large Lincolnshire Smith family which included the explorer John Smith (1580-1631) – but it is certain that he had considerable wealth as he commissioned the most fashionable artist in the country. Shown standing in a romantic landscape dressed in a tight-fitting green coat with a cloak drawn across it and a full-bottomed wig, he carries a sword and has a greyhound by his side. Just visible on the dog’s collar is an inscription: ‘Tomas Smith’. Portraits showing sitters walking through romantic landscapes had been made popular in the previous century by the great court portraitist Sir Anthony van Dyck, and Kneller would no doubt have looked to these earlier works as a template for this portrait. The sitter gazes confidently towards the viewer with a greyhound at his side. Kneller has succeeded in capturing the aristocratic confidence that many of his sitters would have wished to display. It is clear to see how Kneller uses the aristocratic gaze and excess of drapery to create portraits that personifies grandeur and extravagance. Its remarkable quality is evidenced by the fact that it was chosen to be exhibited in New York (in 1986) by the prestigious and one of the oldest commercial art galleries in the world, Colnaghi. From there, it was acquired by one of the greatest twentieth century collectors, Ray Livingstone Murphy (New York circa 1930/40). Murphy had travelled extensively throughout Europe building a collection of important books, paintings and porcelain. It is said that the breadth of his collection was only rivalled by the collection of William Beckford in the previous century. Kneller appears to have been an artist Murphy was particularly fond of as he also owned the oil sketch of William III on horseback, now located at the Het Loo Palace in Holland. The notable quality of the present portrait is further demonstrated by its inclusion in J. D. Stewart’s book “Sir Godfrey Kneller and the English Baroque Portrait” (Oxford University Press, 1983 pg. 137, n. 796). Kneller, who was German-born and Dutch trained, 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, 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 major works include a series of ten reigning European monarchs, including King Louis XIV of France; over 40 “Kit-cat portraits” of members of the Kit-Cat Club; and ten “beauties” of the court of William III. He was also head of the Kneller Academy of Painting and Drawing 1711-1716 in Great Queen Street, London. Titan Fine Art are pleased to present this striking and sumptuous portrait by the best artist of the period, and at the time he was producing his best works. Presented in a fine quality carved and gilded period frame with inscription on the bottom. Provenance: Private Collection, England Colnaghi, London Ray Livingston Murphy (1923-1953), New York (acquired from the above), and by descent to Dr James Murphy, New York Art Market, Dallas Philip Mould...
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Early 1700s Old Masters Sir Godfrey Kneller Art

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Canvas, Oil

Portrait of Isabella Marshall - Very Large 18th Century Georgian Oil Painting
By Sir Godfrey Kneller
Located in Gerrards Cross, GB
‘Portrait of Isabella Marshall’ by Sir Godfrey Kneller (1646-1723). This large fine early 18th century oil painting of a Georgian beauty is signed an...
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1710s Old Masters Sir Godfrey Kneller Art

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English early 18th century portrait of a Lady
By Sir Godfrey Kneller
Located in Bath, Somerset
A striking and extremely rare signed portrait of a Lady by Sir Godfrey Kneller. The lady, three-quarter length, is seated in a landscape, wearing a green silk gown with red cloak, ge...
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Early 18th Century Old Masters Sir Godfrey Kneller Art

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Doddington Montagu, Countess of Manchester (1672-1721)
By Sir Godfrey Kneller
Located in Bath, Somerset
Doddington Montagu, Countess of Manchester (1672-1721) by Sir Godfrey Kneller, bust-length oval, wearing a blue silk gown. Inscribed upper left 'Doddington, Countess of Manchester'. Oil on canvas in a period gitlwood frame. Circa 1712. 74.5 x 62.5cm (29 3/8 x 24 5/8) Provenance: Charlotte Montagu, Doddington's daughter, who married the 2nd Viscount Torrington. Viscountess Torrington, Yotes Court, Mereworth; her sale, Messrs. Foster, Yotes Court, 1 October 1923, lot 21 (66 gns.) M D P Dalison, and by inheritance to the father of the present owner in the 1950's. Doddington Montagu was the daughter of Robert Greville, 4th Baron Brooke, of Beauchamps Court, Warwickshire, and Anne Doddington. She married Charles Montagu, 1st Duke of Manchester...
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Early 18th Century Old Masters Sir Godfrey Kneller Art

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Oil

Portrait of a Lady
By Sir Godfrey Kneller
Located in Bath, Somerset
An extremely rare signed portrait of a Lady by Sir Godfrey Kneller. The lady, three-quarter length, seated in a landscape, wearing a green silk gown with red cloak, gesturing to her...
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Early 18th Century Old Masters Sir Godfrey Kneller Art

Materials

Oil

Portrait of Mrs. Fisher of Packerton, Warwick in Brown dress with Blue Shawl
By Sir Godfrey Kneller
Located in Miami, FL
Three-quarter-length, in a blue dress and red shawl, a wooded landscape in the distance Provenance: Sotheby's The work is stunning and has a great elegant presence in person
Category

18th Century Old Masters Sir Godfrey Kneller Art

Materials

Oil

Lady Henrietta Churchill and her son William
By Sir Godfrey Kneller
Located in Bath, Somerset
Portrait of Lady Henrietta Churchill, later Duchess of Marlborough (1681 - 1733) with her son William Godolphin, later Marquess of Blandford (c.1700 - 1731). Lady Henrietta is seated in an interior wearing a green silk dress with a rose coloured cloak beside a stone plinth supporting a classical urn to one side and drapery to the other. Her son wears a blue coat over a white chemise and holds the hand of his mother, with her other hand resting on his shoulder. Circa 1710 Oil on canvas in a giltwood frame Dimensions: 125.8 x 95.2cm Provenance: By descent to Henrietta's younger daugter Lady Mary Churchill, Duchess of Leeds (1723 - 1764) Thence by family descent until sold by the trustees of the 12th Duke of Leeds at Hornby Castle, Lancashire 1964 J.H.C. Evelyn; by whose trustees sold, London, Christies, November 1972 (as attributed to Kneller), sold to Ledbury Anonymous sale, London, Sotheby's March 1990 (as Charles D'Agar) Private collection London Henrietta Churchill was the eldest daughter of John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, and his wife Sarah Jennings. In 1722, on the Duke's death, she succeeded as Duchess of Marlborough in her own right. In 1698, she married Francis, 2nd Earl of Godolphin, the son of Queen Anne's Lord High Treasurer, becoming Lady Godolphin. She had five children, William (c.1700 - 1731), later Marquess of Blandford (seen in this painting), who married Catherine de Jongh, Henry (b.c.1700), Margaret (b.c.1703),Henrietta, later Duchess of Newcastle...
Category

18th Century and Earlier Sir Godfrey Kneller Art

Sir Godfrey Kneller art for sale on 1stDibs.

Find a wide variety of authentic Sir Godfrey Kneller art available for sale on 1stDibs. You can also browse by medium to find art by Sir Godfrey Kneller in oil paint, paint, canvas and more. Much of the original work by this artist or collective was created during the 18th century and earlier and is mostly associated with the Old Masters style. Not every interior allows for large Sir Godfrey Kneller art, so small editions measuring 11 inches across are available. Customers who are interested in this artist might also find the work of Studio of Sir Peter Lely, Flemish School, 17th Century, and Jan Frans van Bloemen (Orizzonte). Sir Godfrey Kneller art prices can differ depending upon medium, time period and other attributes. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at $4,601 and tops out at $49,000, while the average work can sell for $17,230.

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