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Sir Godfrey Kneller (1646-1723)

Henry Wise (1653-1738) c.1715

RCIN 405636

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Kneller was born in Lubeck, studied with Rembrandt in Amsterdam and by 1676 was working in England as a fashionable portrait painter. He painted seven British monarchs (Charles II, James II, William III, Mary II, Anne, George I and George II), though his portraits of Charles II are not longer in the collection, and in 1715 was the first artist to be made a Baronet (the next was John Everett Millais in 1885). A set of portraits of naval heroes was given by George IV to the Royal Naval Hospital in Greenwich in 1824. Henry Wise and his partner, George London (1681-1714), were the most successful exponents in England of the 'epic formal garden', a type first invented in France by Le Notre. In this later Kneller portrait (of c. 1715) the sitter is shown within a painted oval, wearing a long powdered periwig, a blue, collarless jacket with gold buttons and a white stock.