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Sir George Rooke

9 of 166 portraits by Michael Dahl

Sir George Rooke, by Michael Dahl, circa 1706 -NPG 6769 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Later Stuart Portraits Catalogue

Sir George Rooke

by Michael Dahl
circa 1706
49 3/4 in. x 39 1/2 in. (1265 mm x 1004 mm) overall
NPG 6769

Inscriptionback to top

Inscribed in yellow, bottom right: Sr: George Rooke Kt./ob. 1708.

This portraitback to top

The flag at the stern of the Admiral’s ship in the left distance was probably a red ensign, [1] but the colours are much abraded.
Dahl was on good terms with Rooke, who had commanded the English fleet covering the passage of the Swedish army into Denmark in 1700, and both belonged to the Anglo-Swedish Society in London (see the medal by Bengt Richter 1703). [2] Dahl painted Rooke on at least four occasions between c.1700 and c.1705, besides another with his wife.
On 10 January 1706/7 Rooke paid ‘Mr Dahle’ £50, [3] a sum which could have covered two ‘half length’ portraits, [4] of which NPG 6769 was conceivably one. [5]
A comparable figure of Rooke appeared in the Dahl double portrait from Lee Priory.

Footnotesback to top

1) Also seen in the portrait by Dahl now with Philip Mould, see under NPG 1992.
2) Cf. W. Nisser, Michael Dahl, 1927, pp 21,108.
3) Archives of C. Hoare & Co., London, ledger 7/19 (letter from Norah Hodge, 13 June 1986; NPG archive).
4) Dahl was receiving 10 gns. for a bust-length in 1700, and £44.10 for a whole-length in 1714 (see J. D. Stewart, Godfrey Kneller, 1983, p 190).
5) A companion portrait thought to show Catherine Knatchbull, Rooke’s third wife, was in the Knatchbull-Hugessen sale, Sotheby’s, 7 June 2006, lot 230, but an attribution to Dahl is dubious. A portrait said to show Mary Luttrell, Rooke’s second wife, is at Kingston Lacy.

Referenceback to top

Nisser 1927
W. Nisser, Michael Dahl, 1927, p 109, cat. p 39, no.125c as 1703-09, illus. pl.xxix.

The Public Catalogue Foundation, Kent, 2004, p 116.

Provenanceback to top

By descent from the sitter, whose third wife Catherine (c.1660-1755) was daughter of Sir Thomas Knatchbull, to the 7th Baron Brabourne; Knatchbull-Hugessen sale, Sotheby’s, 7 June 2006, lot 229, withdrawn; purchased by private treaty sale.

Exhibitionsback to top

Maidstone Town Hall, 1947–2005; Pittura inglese 1660/1840, Milan, 1975, no.7.


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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