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Royalist Portrait Charles I in Armour Remigius van Leemput
  • Royalist Portrait Charles I in Armour Remigius van Leemput
  • Royalist Portrait Charles I in Armour Remigius van Leemput
  • Royalist Portrait Charles I in Armour Remigius van Leemput
  • Royalist Portrait Charles I in Armour Remigius van Leemput
  • Royalist Portrait Charles I in Armour Remigius van Leemput
  • Royalist Portrait Charles I in Armour Remigius van Leemput
  • Royalist Portrait Charles I in Armour Remigius van Leemput

Royalist Portrait Charles I in Armour Remigius van Leemput

Price:

£15,000.00


Product Description

Most likely painted during the 1640s, the portrait is a reduced version of the original by Sir Anthony Van Dyck, that was once in the collection of Robert Walpole and was later acquired by the Hermitage Museum of St Petersburg in 1779.

It is hard to put a name to these smaller portraits of the Cavalier King – we know little about Van Dyck’s studio, or what became of its staff after the artist’s death in 1641. We also have an imperfect understanding of the dissemination of Royalist Iconography during the English Civil War and the extent to which the King’s studio in Oxford enabled it. Despite this, two names emerge from the wilderness:

Theodore Roussel was born in London in 1614, to a family of Flemish extraction. He was the nephew of Cornelius Johnson and would spend nine years working in his studio. According to George Vertue, he later "livd a year with Vandyke and coppyd his pictures.”

Remigius van Leemput was born in Antwerp in 1607. Little is known of his earlier years, though he seems to have followed in that long tradition of Flemish painters, who made the journey across the North Sea. He arrived in London sometime after 1632; the Netherlands Institute for Art History (RKD) suggests he may have accompanied Van Dyck. By 1635 he was living in Covent Garden, a newly developed part of London, that was becoming popular with painters. He involved himself in all aspects of his trade and as a result mastered none of them. He is best known for his smaller copies, a series of which were listed in a royal inventory during the reign of Queen Anne as ‘14 … Ladies heads Copys by Remy.” After the English Civil War, he represented the Spanish ambassador Alonso Cardenas during the dispersal of Charles I’s collection. He acquired some of it for himself, including Van Dyck’s equestrian portrait of “Charles I with M. de Antoine.” It was valued at 150 pounds and he later tried to sell it in Antwerp, with the price modestly adjusted to 1500 guineas. He never found a buyer and the painting remained in his collection, until it was returned to Charles II after the restoration of 1660.

Leemput’s work is distinct for the greyish undertones to the flesh. The hair is also unusual, for some locks have been painted with the back of the brush. Certain aspects of the portrait suggest it was painted under the strains of a war time economy, the paint is thin, in parts it barely covers the brown undercoat.

The portrait is held in a 17th century ‘raffle’ leaf bolection frame, with faux oval centre.

Provenance

The portrait came from the Castle Filleigh Estate in North Devon. The historic lord, Sir Faithful Fortescue (1585-1666) was a royalist commander of the English Civil War, who deserted the parliamentary army before the battle of Edgehill. He later became the commander of the 10th regiment of the royal Infantry and served with the garrison at Oxford. Fortescue was a part of the 3rd English Civil War, fighting with the army of Charles II in Scotland. After the Royalist defeat at the Battle of Worcester in 1651, Fortescue fled to the continent, first to France and later to the Netherlands. He returned to England after the restoration of Charles II and became a Gentleman of the Privy Chamber. Though he spent much of his later life in London, he died on the Isle of Wight, having sought refuge there after the plague of 1665.


Further Reading

Karen Hearn: Van Dyck & Britain, Tate London, 2009
O. Millar: The Tudor, Stuart and Early Georgian Pictures in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen (London, 1963)
"Leemput , Remi van." Richard Jeffree. Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press. Web. 19 Nov. 2014

Size of Frame: 91.2 x 78.6 x 4.6cm (35¾ x 31 x 1¾”)
Size of Canvas: 76.6 x 63.8cm (30¼ x 25⅛”)
Weight: 5.6kg

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