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Sir Cloudesley Shovell

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Sir Cloudesley Shovell, by studio of Michael Dahl, circa 1702, based on a work of circa 1702 -NPG 797 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Later Stuart Portraits Catalogue

Sir Cloudesley Shovell

by studio of Michael Dahl
circa 1702, based on a work of circa 1702
87 1/2 in. x 56 in. (2222 mm x 1422 mm) overall
NPG 797

This portraitback to top

A studio version of the whole-length Dahl in the National Maritime Museum (BHC3026), which is signed and dated 1702. [1] NPG 797 shows a tucked-in scarf and the wig falling shorter over his right shoulder. Nisser [2] considered NPG 797 ‘immensely inferior to the excellent [three-quarter-length] Greenwich portrait [see below] … the modeling of the face is more spongy than is usual with Dahl … .’ A third whole-length is in the Guildhall Museum, Rochester (A2601). [3] A three-quarter-length engraving by J. Faber II 1723 (J. Chaloner Smith, British Mezzotinto Portraits, 325 as M. Dahl pinx. 1702) is closer to the Greenwich original, as are the mezzotints by B. Lens II (J. Chaloner Smith, British Mezzotinto Portraits, 18) and J. Simon (J. Chaloner Smith, British Mezzotinto Portraits, 134). Piper observed that this whole-length type may have derived from Dahl’s three-quarter-length
pattern, the heads being almost identical, although the three-quarter-length, as one of the set of Queen Anne Admirals, cannot be dated before 1702, the year the original whole-length is dated.

Footnotesback to top

1) Purchased from Christie’s, 23 November 1951, lot 73.
2) W. Nisser, Michael Dahl, 1927, p 107.
3) Illus. The Public Catalogue Foundation, Kent, 2004, p 199; probably early 18th century.

Referenceback to top

Nisser 1927
W. Nisser, Michael Dahl, 1927, p 107, cat. p 40, no.131c.

Piper 1963
D. Piper, Catalogue of the Seventeenth Century Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery 1625-1714, 1963, pp 315-16.

Provenanceback to top

The sitter’s daughter Elizabeth, Lady Romney; by descent with the Earls of Romney;1 Christie’s, 9 June 1888, lot 361,2 bought Agnews for the NPG.

1 Lady Shovell bequeathed to her daughter ‘the Picture of Sir Cloudesley Shovell drawne at full length’ (PCC Bedford, f.120).
2 Described as ‘the property of a nobleman’; Agnews wrote to Scharf, 9 June 1888, saying they had managed to purchase the portrait [for 95 gns.] (NPG archive). Christie’s had previously offered the portrait to the NPG, on behalf of Lord Romney, for £250 (Trustees Minutes 22 February 1888).


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.

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