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 1681 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.