Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt(1646-1723), Portrait painter
Sitter associated with 30 portraits
Artist associated with 1680 portraits
German-born but Dutch trained, Kneller reportedly travelled to England in 1676 because of his ‘longing to see Sir Anthony Van Dyck’s Works, being most ambitious of imitating that great Master’. He went on to dominate English art for more than thirty years. Like Van Dyck and Lely before him, Kneller became Principal Painter to the king and was knighted. William III also gave him a gold medal and chain, similar to those given to Van Dyck by Charles I. In recognition of his talents, in 1715, George I created Kneller a baronet – a rank that was not surpassed by any artist until 1896 when Sir Frederic Leighton received a peerage.
by Thomas Chambers (Chambars), after Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt
line engraving, published 1762