Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt
- Extended Catalogue Entry
Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt
by Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt
oil on canvas, circa 1706-1711
18 1/4 in. x 14 in. (464 mm x 356 mm)
Given by the Art Fund, 1945
Sitterback to top
- Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt (1646-1723), Portrait painter. Sitter associated with 30 portraits, Artist associated with 1686 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt (1646-1723), Portrait painter. Artist associated with 1686 portraits, Sitter associated with 30 portraits.
This portraitback to top
German-born but Dutch trained, Kneller settled in England in 1676. He became the greatest master of the English baroque portrait and, as court painter to four sovereigns, dominated English art for more than thirty years. This self-portrait shows him wearing across his chest a gold chain from which hangs a medal with a profile head of William III, a gift from the king and queen. The view to the left is of Whitton Hall, Twickenham, built by Kneller between 1709-11.
Related worksback to top
Linked publicationsback to top
- Ingamells, John, Later Stuart Portraits 1685-1714, 2009, p. 141
- Rideal, Liz, Insights: Self-portraits, 2005, p. 54 Read entry
Kneller’s self-portrait shows him richly dressed, with a full wig, sword and a gold chain presented to him by William III in 1699. In the background is Kneller’s house, Whitton Hall, Twickenham, built between 1709 and 1711. He trained in Amsterdam under Rembrandt’s pupil Ferdinand Bol and arrived in England in 1674. He became sole Principal Painter to the King in 1691 and was knighted the following year.
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 357
Portrait setback to top
Events of 1706back to top
Current affairsThe Regency Bill passes in Parliament. John Somers, Baron Somers, and Thomas Wharton, Marquess of Wharton, as prominent supporters of the Protestant succession, are instrumental in formulating legislation which provide for an emergency Council of Sate to convene upon the death of Queen Anne, pending arrival of the Hanoverian successor.
Art and sciencePublication of Horae lyricae, by hymn writer Isaac Watts. A dissenting minister, Watts is recognised as the 'Father of English Hymnody'.
Publication of Synopsis Palmariorum Matheseos, a mathematical guide for beginners by mathematician William Jones.
Thomas Twining opens a tea room in London.
InternationalAllied forces under Commander-in-chief, John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough, defeat Louis XIV's army at the Battle of Ramillies. The most successful campaign in Marlborough's career, victory at Ramillies and a string of subsequent military successes for the allies establishes their control of the Southern Netherlands.
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