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Style of Susannah-Penelope Rosse (c. 1655-1700)

Charles Lennox, 1st Duke of Richmond (1672-1723) c.1675-85

RCIN 420092

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This small miniature almost certainly depicts Charles Lennox, 1st Duke of Richmond as a young boy; comparison with a portrait by Lely depicting the duke as St John the Baptist (Goodwood House, Sussex) would suggest the same sitter. Charles Lennox was the son of Charles II and his mistress, Louise de Kéroualle, Duchess of Portsmouth. From the age of three, Lennox was given titles, honours and property by Charles II, but as an adult he led an irresolute life, changing his allegiance and religion to suit his circumstances. The antiquarian and diarist, Thomas Hearne, considered him 'a man of very little understanding, and though the son of so great a king as Charles II, was a man that was struck in with everything that was Whiggish and opposite to true monarchical principles'.

The portrait is reminiscent of the work of Susannah-Penelope Rosse, who customarily worked with great finesse on this minute scale.

Text adapted from Charles II: Art and Power, London 2017.