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Circle of Sir Peter Lely (Soest, Westphalia 1618-1680 London)
PROPERTY OF THE 7TH EARL OF CLARENDON'S WILL TRUST
Circle of Sir Peter Lely (Soest, Westphalia 1618-1680 London)

Portrait of Francis Cottington, 1st Baron Cottington (c.1579-1652), full-length, in a black velvet doublet and gold chain, his left hand resting on the hilt of his sword

Details
Circle of Sir Peter Lely (Soest, Westphalia 1618-1680 London)
Portrait of Francis Cottington, 1st Baron Cottington (c.1579-1652), full-length, in a black velvet doublet and gold chain, his left hand resting on the hilt of his sword
with identifying inscription 'Lord Cottington' (lower left on the base of the pedestal)
oil on canvas
86 ¾ x 51 in. (220.3 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. 30.
G. P. Harding, List of Portraits, Pictures in Various Mansions in the United Kingdom, unpublished MS, 1804, II, p. 209.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. 185, no. 634, as Van Dyck.
E. Lodge, Portraits of illustrious personages of Great Britain, London, 1835, VII, no. 123.
Lady T. Lewis, Lives of the Friends and Contemporaries of Lord Chancellor Clarendon, London, 1852, III, pp. 250, 254 and 344-6.
R. Gibson, Catalogue of Portraits in the Collection of the Earl of Clarendon, Wallop, 1977, p. 48-9, no. 53, illustrated.


Exhibited
London, South Kensington Museum, Exhibition of National Portraits, 1866, no. 584.
Plymouth, City Art Gallery, Paintings from the Clarendon Collection, 1954, no. 14.

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Lot Essay

Francis Cottington was an important politician and statesmen throughout the seventeenth century. He was a staunch supporter of James I’s pro-Spanish policy in 1613 and later became the ambassador to Spain. In 1649, together with Edward Hyde, Cottington went on a mission to Spain to obtain help for the royal cause. He remained there until his death in 1652 and was later buried in Westminster Abbey. This picture can be compared with the bust-length portrait of Cottington, which appears to be dated 1634, now in the National Portrait Gallery, London. Despite the decidedly Spanish attitude of the sitter, the prime version was presumably painted by an English artist as Cottington is recorded as being in his native country at that time.

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