1 of 2 portraits of James Vernon
by Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt
oil on canvas, feigned oval, 1677
29 1/2 in. x 24 1/2 in. (749 mm x 622 mm)
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Artistback to top
- Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt (1646-1723), Portrait painter. Artist associated with 1678 portraits, Sitter associated with 30 portraits.
This portraitback to top
In 1677 James Vernon met the artist Godfrey Kneller, who had just arrived in England from Germany. Vernon became Kneller's patron, paying the painter's rent in return for this portrait. He introduced Kneller to the Duke of Monmouth, and Kneller noted that Vernon could 'introduce [me] to courtiers, for I take him for an honest and most charming gentleman, as all who know him say'. Consequently, this portrait helped launch a long and successful career for Kneller, who became the principal painter in Britain, serving the King and being awarded a knighthood.
Linked publicationsback to top
Events of 1677back to top
Current affairsSpeech by George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, arguing that the prolonged prorogation of the Cavalier Parliament rendered it dissolved, sends him and three others, including Philip Wharton, Baron Wharton, to the Tower. Stadtholder, Prince William of Orange, marries Mary, daughter of James, Duke of York and Anne Hyde.
Art and scienceThe Natural History of Oxfordshire, (1676) by naturalist and antiquary Robert Plot, secures his election to the Royal Society in December and two years later, appointment as curator of objects to the objects bequeathed to Oxford University by Elias Ashmole.
InternationalDespite his dismissal from court in 1669, royalist soldier and statesman, James Butler, Duke of Ormond, is reappointed lord lieutenant of Ireland.
See this portrait
On display at Beningbrough Hall
- Portrait of the Day: Sir Isaac Newton
4 December, 12:30