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Charles Jennens (1701-1773), Librettist and patron of the arts

Sitter in 1 portrait
Librettist who wrote the libretto for Handel's Messiah (1742) as well as his oratorios, Saul (1738), L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato (1742) and Belshazzar (1745). The guiding principles of his life were non-conformism, the Stuart cause and patronage of the arts, especially music. Although their relationship was tempestuous, he was a great friend and admirer of Handel and a constantly generous subscriber to the composer's works. He also encouraged other contemporary English composers and amassed an unparalleled music library which is still preserved at Manchester Public Library. During his lifetime, he was better known for his architectural patronage and for his picture and sculpture collection.

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Charles Jennens

by Giles Hussey
red chalk, 1760s
NPG 6724