Sir John Chardin
Sir John Chardin
by Unknown artist
oil on canvas, 1711?
53 1/4 in. x 53 1/8 in. (1352 mm x 1349 mm)
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Sitterback to top
- Sir John Chardin (1643-1712), Merchant-adventurer and orientalist. Sitter in 5 portraits.
This portraitback to top
Chardin, the son of a wealthy merchant jeweller, was born in Paris where he followed in his father's trade. In 1664-70 he travelled as a jewel merchant through Turkey to Persia and India and, on his return to Paris, published an account of his experiences as the jewel agent of Solyman III. Chardin made his second visit to the East in 1671 and, six years later, returned to Europe by way of the Cape of Good Hope. He went on to publish three volumes detailing his experiences and adventures. In 1681 Chardin moved to London in order to escape the persecution of Protestants in France and was soon after appointed court jeweller. This portrait of him is likely to have been painted in London and depicts Chardin with a black page.
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Events of 1711back to top
Current affairsQueen Anne dismisses from office her closest companion, Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, over disagreements principally concerning matters of state. Sarah's husband, the Duke of Marlborough, is also dismissed, a victim of ambition and political intrigue. The South Sea Company is launched to undertake the nation's debt.
Art and scienceComposer, George Frideric Handel's first London opera Rinaldo is staged at the Queen's Theatre and privately performed for the queen on her birthday at St. James's Palace. The following year Handel would leave the Hanoverian court to settle in London. Essayists, Sir Richard Steele and Joseph Addison establish The Spectator.
InternationalSecret peace negotiations between France and England resume to end the War of the Spanish Succession. Lord treasurer, Robert Harley, Earl of Oxford sends poet and diplomat, Matthew Prior, to France accompanied by Louis XIV's secret negotiator, François Gaultier, to conduct talks directly with the French king.
- Portrait of the Day: Augustus Pugin
31 January, 12:30