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Later Stuart Portraits Catalogue

Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt (1646-1723), Portrait painter

In 1723 Vertue (G. Vertue, Notebooks, Wal. Soc., XXII, 1934, p 12) listed portraits of Kneller as
follows:

'by himself his own picture many times in his own hair young. Printed by Beckett [NPG 3794].in a periwig - printed by Smith [see c.1694 below]. young in his hair printed in Sandrart. a head in an oval. a half length sent to ye Duk of Florence. [see NPG 3214] of this a small copy by Baker. a small picture black & white in Oyl. a half length in a Brocade wastcoat & Meddal a Kit cat with a Cap on. a half length in Brocade presented to the Bodleyan library Oxon [see 1720 below] a whole length him & his Lady sitting [see c.1715-20 below].'

Self Portraits
c.1670
Three-quarter-length seated, holding a pen; a bust, globe, an open book and an écorché before him. Sotheby’s, 19 November 1986, lot 33 (J. D. Stewart, Godfrey Kneller, 1983, no.12a, pl.118, and p 5n21a).

c.1680
Bust-length oval. Yale Center for British Art (B1981.25.388). A copy in the Victoria and Albert Museum (D.12; illus. Lord Killanin, Sir Godfrey Kneller and his times 1646-1723, 1948, pl.29).

1685
Half-length oval, see NPG 3794.

c.1685-90
Half-length oval. Government Art Collection (1758), from Sotheby’s, 25 June 1952, lot 79 (illus. The Public Catalogue Foundation, Government Art Collection, 2007, p 164).

c.1688-90
Half-length oval, with a unicorn behind him. Burghley House (78; J. D. Stewart, Godfrey Kneller, 1983, no.16, pls 21a & b, pp 33-34). Painted for the Honourable Order of Little Bedlam, an Order founded in 1684 by the 5th Earl of Exeter in which each member received a nickname from an animal. Exhibited Age of Charles II, RA, 1960, no.368; The Treasure Houses of Britain, National Gallery Washington, 1985, no.88. A miniature by Susannah-Penelope Rosse at Welbeck is said to derive from a Kneller self portrait, conceivably of the Burghley type (R. W. Goulding, ‘The Welbeck Abbey Miniatures’, Wal. Soc., IV, 1916, no.154, pl.xx).

c.1694
Half-length oval (J. D. Stewart, Godfrey Kneller, 1983, no.17), engraved J. Smith 1694 (J. Chaloner Smith, British Mezzotinto Portraits, 150). Smith’s chalk drawing for his engraving is in the Ashmolean Museum (D. B. Brown, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, Catalogue of the Collection of Drawings, IV, The Earlier British Drawings, 1982, no.1681).

c.1700-10
Half-length standing, wearing a cap, holding a paper. Rickinghall, Suffolk, in 1903 (J. D. Stewart, Godfrey Kneller, 1983, no.18). Possibly the portrait mentioned by Vertue as ‘a Kit cat with a cap on’. A related bust-length drawing by Kneller, formerly with the Painter-Stainers’ Company, was destroyed in World War II (J. D. Stewart, Godfrey Kneller, 1983, D89, pl.110a).

c.1705
Small three-quarter-length, seated (on the left) with, perhaps, his son-in-law James Huckle. Milwaukee, Marquette University Collection of Fine Arts (J. D. Stewart, Godfrey Kneller, 1983, no.18A, pl.119a). Kneller wears the sword and gold chain given him by William III.

1706
Three-quarter-length; Uffizi, Florence (A488); see under NPG 3214.

c.1715-20
Whole-length standing on a terrace with his wife. Pythouse, Salisbury (J. D. Stewart, Godfrey Kneller, 1983, no.21).

1719
Three-quarter-length standing, wearing a beret, right hand tucked in his coat, signed and dated. Private collection. Exhibited, The Stuart Portrait, Southampton, 2001, no.20. An informal portrait.

1720
Three-quarter-length standing, a view of Whitton behind, signed and dated. Stanage Park, Radnors. (J. Steegman, Portraits in Welsh Houses, II, p 222; J. D. Stewart, Godfrey Kneller, 1983, no.22). Engraved J. Faber II (J. Chaloner Smith, British Mezzotinto Portraits, 28, front. to Beauties of Windsor, oval bust-length on pedestal). A version presented to the Bodleian Library 1721 by the artist (Mrs R. L. Poole, Catalogue of Portraits in the possession of the University, Colleges, City and County of Oxford, I, p 89, no.222; Catalogue of Portraits in the Bodleian Library by Mrs R. L. Poole completely revised and expanded by K. Garlick, 2004, p 199 with wrong illus.), exhibited Second Special Exhibition of National Portraits ( ... William and Mary to MDCCC), South Kensington, 1867, no.120. Half-length versions at Kinnaird Castle; Sotheby’s, 8 April 1992, lot 148 attributed to Robert Byng, inscribed oval; Althorp, reversed oval (K. J. Garlick, ‘A Catalogue of Pictures at Althorp’, Wal. Soc., XLV, 1976, no.366); miniature by Charles Boit, Nationalmuseum, Stockholm (NMB 1071; Illus. Cat. - Swedish and other Nordic Miniatures, I, 2001, p 129).

Portraits by other artists
c.1690
Ivory medallion by Jean Cavalier, see NPG 1740.

c.1720
Painting by Robert Byng, three-quarter-length adaptation of the Bodleian portrait, right hand before him, left on hip, a foreground ledge, inscribed. Sotheby’s, 11 July 1990, lot 27.

1730
Marble bust by J. M. Rysbrack, with cap and unbuttoned shirt. Westminster Abbey (illus. M. I. Webb, Michael Rysbrack, 1954, p 30; see J. D. Stewart, Sir Godfrey Kneller, NPG, exhibition catalogue, 1971, no.59). Kneller’s design in the British Museum (1888-7-19-81; E. Croft-Murray & P. Hulton, British Museum, Catalogue of British Drawings: XVI and XVII centuries, 1960, p 395).

Doubtful Portrait
Based on resemblances to the Cavalier medallion NPG 1740, Avery identified an ivory medallion by David Le Marchand as Kneller (C. Avery, David le Marchand 1674-1726, 1996, p 74, no.39, then belonging to Lord Thomson of Fleet).



This extended catalogue entry is from the National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Ingamells, National Portrait Gallery: Later Stuart Portraits 1685-1714, National Portrait Gallery, 2009, and is as published then. For the most up-to-date details on individual Collection works, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text.