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King William III

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King William III

studio of Sir Peter Lely
oil on canvas, based on a work of circa 1677
49 in. x 39 3/4 in. (1245 mm x 1010 mm) overall
Purchased, 1921
Primary Collection
NPG 1902

Sitterback to top

  • King William III (1650-1702), Reigned 1689-1702. Sitter associated with 142 portraits.

Artistback to top

  • Sir Peter Lely (1618-1680), Portrait painter. Artist associated with 843 portraits, Sitter in 19 portraits.

This portraitback to top

One of a number of copies of Lely's portrait painted in England at the time of William's marriage.

Related worksback to top

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Audio Guide
  • Smartify image discovery app
  • Ingamells, John, Later Stuart Portraits 1685-1714, 2009, p. 324
  • Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 663
  • Simon, Jacob, The Art of the Picture Frame: Artists, Patrons and the Framing of Portraits in Britain, 1997 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 8 November 1996 - 9 February 1997), p. 60, 155 Read entry

    Carved and gilt pine, reverse section, mitred, the cushion on which the top edge carving sits is punched as is the background of the back edge carving, the flat areas to either side of the top edge cushion are hazzled. The condition of the corner ribbons suggests that the corners have been repaired. 4 inches wide.

    This exceptionally fine reverse section frame of the 1690s with its enrichments on both the top and back edges must have been expensive to produce owing to the considerable work involved in the undercutting of the leaves and tendrils and the other carving. It presumably came from the workshop of a leading carver, perhaps of Huguenot origin. Very closely comparable are the frames on John Closterman's Taylor Family of 1696 (National Portrait Gallery, on loan to Beningbrough Hall) and on Francesco Solimena's Virgin and Child with Figures (Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge), the latter a later marriage of picture and frame.

    The frame now on the portrait of William III appears to have come to the Gallery on L. F. Abbott's late eighteenth-century portrait of Admiral Viscount Hood, on the evidence of a photograph made from an old glass negative. It was subsequently used to frame the portrait of Sir Christopher Wren (NPG 113).

Subjects & Themesback to top

Events of 1677back to top

Current affairs

Speech 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 science

The 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.

International

Despite his dismissal from court in 1669, royalist soldier and statesman, James Butler, Duke of Ormond, is reappointed lord lieutenant of Ireland.

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