Sir Godfrey Kneller and His Times, 1646-1723: Being a Review of English Portraiture of the Period

Sir Godfrey Kneller and His Times, 1646-1723: Being a Review of English Portraiture of the Period

Sir Godfrey Kneller and His Times, 1646-1723: Being a Review of English Portraiture of the Period

Sir Godfrey Kneller and His Times, 1646-1723: Being a Review of English Portraiture of the Period

Excerpt

This book does not contain any startling new theories on either Sir Godfrey Kneller or his contemporaries in either late Stuart or early Hanoverian times, though it does contain a certain amount of information and some facts which have not been collected and collated previously under one cover.

My object has been to produce a brief sketch of Godfrey Kneller and his times, giving details of his career against the background of contemporary social and artistic life and showing him in relief against his competitors. I have tried to produce a book which may be of use to those who own family portraits of this period as well as to the student.

This volume begins in the reign of Charles II and ends in that of George I, when Kneller painted George II as Prince of Wales. It will be seen that quite a long and important period is covered by the active life of Godfrey Kneller.

My original research for this work began some years ago in my spare time, but in 1939, when the war started, I had to stop. As soon as possible after the end of the war I took up my researches again, but then it was not so easy. In my quest for pictures I found that some had been the victims of bombing (e.g. the portraits of Sir William Prichard and Sir William Turner in the Merchant Taylors' Hall), and that private and public collections of pictures and muniments were still not yet available owing to their having been stored during the war for safety from enemy damage or when houses were requisitioned. Also I have not been able to trace the early Lubeck pictures' fate after the war after the severe destruction, including that of the Maria Church, in that city. Further, owing to travel difficulties, I have not been able to visit all the large private collections which I had wished to see, and have had frequently to content myself with either engravings or photographs for my information.

However, I have been able to complete the book, thanks to the assistance and encouragement I have had from various sources. The advice and guidance of Sir Henry M. Hake, the Director, and Mr. C. K. Adams, the Assistant Director, of the National Portrait Gallery, has been invaluable, especially in regard to the Kit Kat pictures, although they are, of course, not responsible for any views or facts. Before their purchase for the nation by the National Art Collection fund, Lady Clinton-Baker, in whose husband's possession the Kit Kat pictures were, gave me useful help. As regards the actual research into books and manuscripts I am very grateful to the staff of the Department of Manuscripts and Prints and the Librarians and staff of the British Museum, of the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Public Record Office. Mr. Anthony Blunt, C.V.O., Keeper of the King's Pictures, and Mr. Benedict Nicolson assisted me and advised me on the pictures in the Royal Collections.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.