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by Michael Dahl, James Bertie, first Earl of Abingdon

Core Record

Title James Bertie, first Earl of Abingdon
Collection Oxford Portraits: University of Oxford
Artist by Michael Dahl
Date 1682-1699
Acquisition gift from Montague Bertie, second Earl of Abingdon, 1700
Description Whole length, standing slightly to right; long dark wig; lace cravat; peers' robes: crimson velvet mantle lined with white silk and edged with miniver; deep ermine cape with three rows of sealskin spots over the same coloured velvet coat lined with miniver; black stockings and buckled shoes; sword-belt and sword; his right hand holds up a fold of his cloak, his left rests, the knuckles down, on a marble-topped gilt table on which lies his coronet; marble column in background to left; dark blue velvet curtain behind to right.

The portrait commemorates Bertie's creation in 1681 as Earl of Abingdon, and was painted sometime between 1682 when Dahl arrived in England, and Lord Bertie's death in 1699. It was given to the University in 1700 by the sitter's son, Montague Bertie, 2nd Earl of Abingdon, when it was itemized in the Vice-Chancellor's accounts: 'Item for the Carriage and frame of the Earle of Abington's picture £01:02:00' (Comptus Vice Can 1697-1735, 1 Oct 1700-5 Sept 1701, Expensae Extraordinariae, Oxford University Archives, Wpbeta/22/2).

In his list of portraits in the Bodleian Library compiled between 1742 and 1752, George Vertue included 'The late Earl of Abingdon by Dahl'. (G. Vertue, Note Books V Walpole Society 26 (1938), p.17)

On a visit to the Bodleian Library Gallery in 1874, George Scharf, then Keeper of the National Portrait Gallery, noted of this portrait: 'M Dahl ... Extremely well painted very mellow & simple' (G. Scharf, 'Trustee Sketchbooks, Oxon II, p.15, 31 July 1874, National Portrait Gallery Archive, London)

A copy is in Oxford Town Hall (Lane Poole, 1, p.248, no.748).
External Link Oxford Portraits website
Id Number Current Accession 4
Inscription On column to l.: ’Effigem hanc honoratissimi domini, Jacobi Bertie, Comitis de Abingdon, Baronus Norreys de Rycott [?]: qui de regno et ecclesia anglicana sub tribus regibus optime meruit; fuitque diu forrestarum regiarum cis trentam justitiarius capitalis, Oxoniensis comitatus praefectus fortissimus; urbis seneschallus fidelissimus; adademiae fautor semper amicissimus; eidem academiae montagu, filius natu-maximus, honorum et virtutum haeres dono dedit.’
Measurements 57.5 x 90 in.
Sitter Biographical Notes James Bertie, first Earl of Abingdon (bap. 1653-d. 1699)
Landowner
Third Baron Norreys of Rycote, Bertie was created Earl of Abingdon in 1681. He was Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire from 1674 to 1687, and again from 1689-97, and High Steward of the City of Oxford in 1687, and again from 1693 to 1697. He was an active adherent of William III.
Artist Biographical Notes by Michael Dahl (1659-1743)
Portrait painter and painter
Donor Biographical Notes Montague Bertie, second Earl of Abingdon (c. 1671/2-1743)
Portrait donor and politician
The son of James Bertie, second earl of Abingdon; Member of Parliament for Oxfordshire 1689-90; Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire 1702-05, 1712-1715; Recorder and High Steward of Oxford [dates]
Relation References A. Wood, History and Antiquities of the University of Oxford ed. by J. Gutch, 2 vols (1792-1796), II, Part II, p.961; G. Scharf, ’Trustee Sketchbooks’, Oxon II, p.15, 31 July 1874 (National Portrait Gallery Archive, London); R. Lane Poole, Catalogue of Po
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