1 of 166 portraits by Michael Dahl
- Extended catalogue entry
Later Stuart Portraits Catalogue
by Michael Dahl
49 in. x 39 in. (1245 mm x 991 mm) overall
Inscriptionback to top
Signed and dated, lower left: MDahl.pinx./Ao.1691.
This portraitback to top
The bust is a copy from the Venus de Medici (Uffizi; shown in the Tribuna from 1688) of which Louis XIV had owned five copies in both marble and bronze; one of the most admired classical statues, it was regarded by Evelyn as a ‘miracle of art’. 
Although sold in 1952 as ‘An Artist’, there can be little doubt concerning the sitter’s identity. Signed and dated, the pose is that of a self portrait and comparison with Dahl’s self portrait at Gripsholm of c.1700 is reassuring.
NPG 3822 was painted soon after Dahl had settled in England, the head of the Venus de Medici declaring a degree of sophistication. Millar, remarking on the rich personal colours and striking French quality, described it as Dahl’s masterpiece. 
Footnotesback to top
Referenceback to top
J. D. Stewart, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, p 909.
D. Piper, Catalogue of the Seventeenth Century Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery 1625-1714, 1963, pp 100-01.
J. D. Stewart, Godfrey Kneller, 1983, p 50.
Provenanceback to top
[possibly the ‘picture of him in his own hair’ listed by Vertue in 1723, see below] Anon. sale, Christie’s, 7 March 1952, lot 73 (‘Portrait of an Artist’), bought Leggatt for the NPG.
Exhibitionsback to top
British Self Portraits, Arts Council, 1962, no.10; Tate Gallery 1971-73; Face to Face, Liverpool, 1994-95, no.2.
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.
View all known portraits for Michael Dahl