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John Somers, Baron Somers

John Somers, Baron Somers, by Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt, circa 1705 -NPG 490 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Later Stuart Portraits Catalogue

John Somers, Baron Somers

by Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt
circa 1705
36 in. x 28 in. (914 mm x 711 mm)
NPG 490

Inscriptionback to top

Inscribed, upper right: John Lord Somers/Baron of Evesham/Lord High Chancellor/of England/Obiit/1716; signed, lower left: GK in monogram.

This portraitback to top

When Scharf saw this portrait at Eastnor in 1875 he commented ‘a dull picture of Kitcat period’. A 20th-century copy by A. E. Dyer is in the Assembly Hall, Hertford. A similar head appears in a three-quarter-length standing portrait by Kneller at Panshanger, with a letter inscribed The/Right Honourable/Lord Sommers, sold Christie’s, 16 October 1953, lot 61 (exhibited Second Special Exhibition of National Portraits ( ... William and Mary to MDCCC), South Kensington, 1867, no.28).

Referenceback to top

Piper 1963
D. Piper, Catalogue of the Seventeenth Century Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery 1625-1714, 1963, p 320.

Sir George Scharf’s Sketch Books, 92A:53.

Provenanceback to top

By descent at Eastnor Castle; presented by the 3rd Earl Somers1 1877.

1 The 3rd Earl Somers (1819-83) had been a Trustee of the NPG since 1860.

Exhibitionsback to top

Tercentenary Exhibition, Royal Society, Burlington House, 1960; Lyme Park 1983–.

Reproductionsback to top

J. Simon, half-length oval, reversed (J. Chaloner Smith, British Mezzotinto Portraits, 135).1

1 Identified by J. D. Stewart, Godfrey Kneller, 1983, no.683, as after a separate Kneller painting, yet the similarity to NPG 490 (which does not appear in J. D. Stewart, Godfrey Kneller, 1983), is close. In reversing the image Simon preserved the correct buttoning of the coat, i.e. he shows buttons instead of eyelets.


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 Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt

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