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Studio of Robert Walker (1599-1658)
PROPERTY OF THE 7TH EARL OF CLARENDON'S WILL TRUST
Studio of Robert Walker (1599-1658)

Portrait of William Seymour, 2nd Duke of Somerset, 1st Marquess of Hertford (1587–1660), full-length, in armour, holding a marshal's baton

Details
Studio of Robert Walker (1599-1658)
Portrait of William Seymour, 2nd Duke of Somerset, 1st Marquess of Hertford (1587–1660), full-length, in armour, holding a marshal's baton
with identifying inscription 'MARQVIS OF HERTFORD' (lower right)
oil on canvas
86 ¼ x 51 in. (219.1 x 129.5 cm.)
in a seventeenth century carved giltwood auricular frame
Provenance
Probably commissioned by Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon (1609-1674), Clarendon House, London, and by descent (see lot 141 for full provenance).
Literature
Clarendon State Papers, Bodleian MS Clarendon 92, ff 253-254, no. 31.
G. P. Harding, List of Portraits, Pictures in Various Mansions in the United Kingdom, unpublished MS, 1804, II, p. 209.
J. Smith, A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch, Flemish, and French Painters, London, 1831, III, p. 165, no. 574, as Van Dyck.
E. Lodge, Portraits of illustrious personages of Great Britain, London, 1835, VII, no. 131.
Lady T. Lewis, Lives of the Friends and Contemporaries of Lord Chancellor Clarendon, London, 1852, III, pp. 253, 335-338.
G. F. Waagen, Treasures of Art in Great Britain, London, 1854, II, p. 455.
R. Gibson, Catalogue of Portraits in the Collection of the Earl of Clarendon, Wallop, 1977, p. 113-4, no. 126.
Exhibited
Plymouth, City Art Gallery, Paintings from the Clarendon Collection, 1954, no. 28.

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Lot Essay

Though a moderate Royalist who had opposed the King in the House of Lords in the early years of his reign, Seymour became an important commander in the Royalist army during the Civil War and led numerous decisive battles. He negotiated the surrender of Oxford, Charles I’s head-quarters during the wars between 1644 and 1646, and attended the King during his impeachment. The prototype would appear to be the half-length portrait, signed and dated 1656, in the collection of the Duke of Northumberland at Syon House. While other versions exist, this is the only one that includes the pike-men in the background and it has been suggested that it could have been painted by a member of Walker’s studio shortly after the artist’s death in 1658 (Gibson, op.cit.). The portrait certainly postdates 1660 since, although Seymour was created knight of the Garter in 1650, he was not in fact installed until 1660, and no other portrait shows him wearing the Badge of the Order.

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