Collection Online
Portrait of a lady
Medium
oil on canvas
Accession Number
p.311.7-1
Department
International Painting
Gallery location
Not on display
Godfrey Kneller, born Gottfried Kniller in Lübeck, became the leading portrait painter in England in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. He received training in Amsterdam under Ferdinand Bol and possibly also Rembrandt. After working in Italy he came to England in 1676, where he established a workshop, producing a vast number of portraits to meet the demands of the court and Whig establishment. After Sir Peter Lely’s death, Kneller filled his position as premier painter to Charles II. This portrait may have been of a lesser lady of the court. Its small size and relatively fast execution is in stark contrast to the grand Baroque portraits Kneller also made, but it still bears many hallmarks of his manner, such as the loosened curl over a bare shoulder.