Anecdotes of Painting in England: With Some Account of the Principal Artists - Vol. 2

By Horace Walpole | Go to book overview

with King James. The enthusiastic painter could not resist the proposal; he embarked on board an English vessel, and without acquainting his wife or family, sailed for England. His reception was equal to his wishes. He was introduced to the king, who promised to countenance him; and several persons of rank, who had known him at Antwerp, encouraged him in his new vocation. Transported with his prospect, he sent for his wife, ordering her to dismiss his workmen, and convert his effects into money. Within half a year the bubble burst—the Revolution happened; Keisar's friends could no longer be his protectors, his business decreased, and the pursuit of the philosopher's stone, to which he had recourse in his despair, completed his ruin. He died at the age of forty-five, in four or five years after the Revolution. He left a daughter, whom he had taken great pains to instruct in his favourite study, and with success. She painted small portraits in oil, and copied well; but marrying one Mr. Humble, a gentleman, he would not permit her to follow the profession. After his death she returned to it, and died in December, 1724. She had several pictures by her father's hand, particularly a St. Catherine, painted for the Queen Dowager's chapel, at Somerset house, and his own head, in water-colours, by himself.


[NICHOLAS] LARGILLIERE,

(1656-1746,)

a French portrait-painter, 1 was in England in this reign, but went away on the Revolution. He drew the king and queen, Sir John Warner, his daughter and grand-daughter, and Vander Meulen and Sybrecht, the painters. 2 Vertue

____________________
1695. He had made a collection of paintings with judgment and taste, which were then seized, and sold by King William's government. Among Sir Wm. Musgrave's MSS., New Catal. No. 5755, is a list of them, and the prices they produced, amounting to 813l. 5s. George Boleyne, Viscount Rochfort, by Holbein, was valued at 12l., and Prince Rupert, by Dobson. at 20l.: a proof of the estimation of those masters at that period. The famous Duke of Ormond first made a collection of paintings in Ireland, of any value or merit, and which was afterwards dispersed.—D.
1
His portrait by himself in the Louvre Gallery. The Duchess of Orleans, Charles II.'s sister, is at Dunham Massey, Cheshire.—D.
2
The author of the Abrégé gives some interesting anecdotes of Largilliere, tom. ii. p. 247. " He came to England, at eighteen years of age, and was employed by Lely to repair and repaint parts of some of the pictures in the collection at Windsor. Charles II, saw a picture of a sleeping Cupid, of which Largilliere had repainted the legs. He appeared before the king, who said, in French, to the

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