Michael Dahl (c.1659-1743)
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Michael Dahl (c.1659-1743)

Portrait of a young gentleman, half-length, in a green coat, with gold frogging, holding a bow in his left hand

Details
Michael Dahl (c.1659-1743)
Portrait of a young gentleman, half-length, in a green coat, with gold frogging, holding a bow in his left hand
with erroneous inscriptions 'First Duke of St Albans' (upper left) and 'S. P. Lely Pinx' (upper right)
oil on canvas
30¼ x 25½ in. (76.9 x 64.8 cm.)
in a pierced, carved and gilded 18th Century frame
Provenance
Lady Anna Chandos Pole (+), Harrington House, 13 Kensington Palace Gardens, London; Christie's, London, 10 July 1914, lot 33, as 'Lely. Portrait of the First Duke of St. Albans' (40 gns. to Howard).
Henry Reinhardt, New York, 1915.
John and Elizabeth Washburn, and by descent until
Anon. sale, Sotheby's, New York, 3 June 1988, lot 119, as 'Sir Godfrey Kneller. Portrait of Henry Jermyn, 1st Earl of Albans' (sold $20,900).
Literature
Prof. J. Douglas-Stewart, 'Biography of Michael Dahl', forthcoming Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford, 2004.
Exhibited
Minneapolis Art Institute, U.S.A., lent by Mr and Mrs John Washburn.
Special notice

VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price plus buyer's premium

Lot Essay

The soft, reticent modelling of the head and lighting of this portrait, shows similarities to Dahl's drawing of an Unknown Boy (The Huntingdon Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, California). Both pictures are datable to circa 1700, when Dahl had moved away from his 'Baroque' style of the 1690s as exemplified in child portraits such as those of the Verney children (recorded in the collection of Lord Willoughby de Broke, London, in 1927), to a style characterised by simpler, lighter forms and delicate colouring.

The previous identification of the sitter as Henry Jermyn, 1st Earl of St. Albans is untenable as the Earl died childless at an advanced age in 1684. The identifying inscription is also erroneous as Charles Beauclerk, 1st Duke of St. Albans, was born in 1670 and died in 1726.

We are grateful to Professor J. Douglas Stewart for his help in preparing this catalogue entry.
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