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Later Stuart Portraits Catalogue

John Somers, Baron Somers (1651-1716), Lord Chancellor

1658
Painting by C. J. van Ceulen Junior, half-length oval as a boy, signed and dated. Eastnor (Sir George Scharf’s Sketch Books, 92A:49a in 1875).

c.1676
Painting by John Riley, half-length painted oval. Dulwich Picture Gallery (565; J. Ingamells, Dulwich Picture Gallery Collections, I, British, 2008, p 179).

c.1690-1700
Unattributed miniature, see NPG 3658.

c.1692?
Painting by Godfrey Kneller, half-length in gown. Engraved J. Houbraken 1745 and Goldar 1785 as in the collection of James Cocks (d. 1775), the sitter’s direct descendant. Possibly Christie’s, 30 June 1888, lot 44 as 1692.

after 1693
Painting by Simon Dubois, whole-length seated as chancellor. Government Art Collection, Wrest Park. Somers was a particular patron of Dubois, as recounted by Vertue (G. Vertue, Notebooks, Wal. Soc., XVIII, 1930, p 125; Wal. Soc., XX, 1932, pp 17-18, 139; Wal. Soc., XXIV, 1936, p 179). A miniature attributed to Dubois was exhibited Marlborough and the Reign of Queen Anne, Chesterfield House, London, 1934, no.492, lent Stuart Bevan.

1695
Engraving by R. White, the Lords Justices of England, half-length in coronation robes as one of the collective regency during the King’s absences abroad; with the 1st Duke of Devonshire, 6th Earl of Dorset, 1st Earl of Godolphin, 8th Earl of Pembroke, 1st Duke of Shrewsbury, and Archbishop Tenison.

1697
Miniature attributed to Susannah-Penelope Rosse, with engraved identity and date verso. Christie’s, 26 November 1986, lot 205.

c.1700
Painting by Godfrey Kneller, whole-length standing in chancellor’s robes, holding purse. Private collection (C. J. Phillips, History of the Sackville Family, 1929, II, p 430 as by Dahl?; J. D. Stewart, Godfrey Kneller, 1983, no.681). A three-quarter-length version formerly at Wimpole (illus. Country Life, LXI, 1927, p 850), engraved J. Thomson 1828, and W. H. Mote 1831 as in the collection of Lord Hardwicke; a half-length version at Eastnor Castle (J. D. Stewart, Godfrey Kneller, 1983, no.682).

Painting by Godfrey Kneller, half-length in chancellor’s robes, his purse at his side. Engraved J. Hall 1793 as in the collection of Lord Hardwicke. A copy by William Haines 1837 with the Middle Temple (B. Williamson, Catalogue of Paintings and Engravings in the possession of The Hon. Society of the Middle Temple, 1931, p 22; illus. f.p.28).

1701
Engraving by W. Faithorne II, see Portland.

c.1705
Painting by Godfrey Kneller, see NPG 490.

Painting attributed to Kneller, half-length in plain gown with chancellor’s purse at his side. Royal Society, presented by Sir Joseph Jekyll, a direct descendant of the sitter (N. H. Robinson, The Royal Society Catalogue of Portraits, 1980, pp 282-83, illus.). Engraved T. A. Dean. The head closely resembles that seen in NPG 490. A version listed at Charterhouse (G. P. Harding, List of Portraits, Pictures in Various Mansions of the United Kingdom, II, p 127, c.1811-14; Sir George Scharf’s Trustees’ Sketch Books, 11:58 in 1866-67).

1706
Ivory bust by David Le Marchand. Wimpole Hall, bought by the Earl of Oxford at the Halifax sale 6-10 March 1740 (G. Vertue, Notebooks, Wal. Soc., XXIV, 1936, p 166, ‘a small bust in Ivory with a large wigg - done from the life cutt by D. Le Marchand 1706’, but not identifiable in the printed sale catalogue); C. Avery, David le Marchand 1674-1726, 1996, no.37, illus.

1709
Painting by Godfrey Kneller, full half-length, right hand on ledge before him, left hand on hip, signed. Uffizi, Florence (ICI1048; A. M. Crinò, Burlington Magazine, CII, 1960, pp 259-60; J. D. Stewart, Godfrey Kneller, 1983, no.684). Exhibited Firenze e L’Inghilterra 1971, no.38.

1713
Painting by Jonathan Richardson, half-length seated in black, right hand on books on a table, left hand holding gloves; a bust (of Socrates?) in the left background. Sotheby’s, 10 July 1996, lot 27, from Lord Malmesbury’s collection. Exhibited Second Special Exhibition of National Portraits ( ... William and Mary to MDCCC), South Kensington, 1867, no.51. Engraved J. Smith 1713 (J. Chaloner Smith, British Mezzotinto Portraits, 234) as half-length oval (J. Richardson pinx. 1713).

c.1715-16
Painting by Godfrey Kneller, see NPG 3223.

History
A painted allegory by G. B. Piazzetta, Canaletto and G. B. Cimaroli was one of a series of ‘monuments’ to recent ‘British Worthies, who were bright and shining Ornaments, to their Country’, commissioned by Owen MacSwinny c.1725-29 (E. Croft-Murray, Decorative Painting in England, II, The Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries, 1970, p 241, no.18); Viscount Windsor 1991. Exhibited The Treasure Houses of Britain, National Gallery Washington, 1985-86, no.171. The design of the Somers monument attributed to Scheemakers in St Mary’s, North Mimms, may have derived from this painting (I. Roscoe, ‘Peter Scheemakers’, Wal. Soc., LXI, 1999, no.109).

Doubtful Portraits
Painting by Godfrey Kneller, half-length in black gown. Eastnor Castle, formerly identified as Samuel Butler (J. D. Stewart, Godfrey Kneller, 1983, no.680 as Somers). Paintings attributed to Kneller, half-length in brown gown with light-brown figured collar (Harvard Law School), and unattributed, three-quarter-length in Peer’s robes (D. Minlore, 1936).

An unattributed painting, a huge conversation piece called The Whig Junto, purporting to show Somers with the 2nd Duke of Devonshire, the 1st Earl of Halifax, the 3rd Earl of Sunderland, the 1st Marquess of Wharton, and Admiral Russell, Lord Orford; Ombersley (Nash’s History of Worcestershire, II, 1799, p 224 as by [Isaac] Fuller [II]; illus. Country Life, CXIII, 1953, p 95). The sitters appear to be antiquarians.



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.