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Title Portrait of Arthur Capel, First Earl Essex of the Seventh Creation
Collection Watford Museum
Artist Attributed to circle of Lely, Peter (Dutch painter and draftsman, 1618-1680, active in England)
Date Earliest about 1665
Date Latest about 1683
Description This painting is a variant of a larger three-quarter length portrait of Arthur Capel first Earl of Essex (1631-1683). The sitter turns to his right to look out at the viewer. His hair and collar are painted with loose brush-strokes which are continued in the tree-trunk behind the sitter. This brings a softness to the portrait which combines with the composition to create a sense of intimacy, emphasised by Arthur Capel's direct gaze.
Current Accession Number WATMC:2004.468
Subject portrait (Capel, Arthur, First Earl of the Seventh Creation); landscape
Measurements 58.3 x 41 cm.0 cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas (laid on panel)
Acquisition Details Bequeathed by Nona Isobel, Countess of Essex, 1997.
Provenance Probably commissioned from the artist by Arthur Capel, first Earl of Essex, - 1683; by descent to the Countess of Essex.
Publications Harwood, L. B., Portraits of the Earls of Essex, their Wives and Children in the Watford Museum, Watford 2001, cat. no. 2, pp.12-14.

The larger, three-quarter-length portrait by Lely, of which this is a variant, was sold at Christie's, 12 April 1991.

For seventeenth-century costume, see: Boucher, F., A History of Costume in the West, trans. J. Ross, London, 2004, pp. 251-74, ill. nos. 632, 643.

Rights Owner Watford Museum
Author Bryony Bartlett-Rawlings



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