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Attributed to Lely, Peter (Dutch painter and draftsman, 1618-1680, active in England) and studio, Portrait of Viscount Brouncker

Core Record

Title Portrait of Viscount Brouncker
Collection Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum
Artist Attributed to Lely, Peter (Dutch painter and draftsman, 1618-1680, active in England) and studio
Date Earliest possibly about 1660
Date Latest possibly about 1674
Description A prominent public figure and popular in the Stuart Royal court, Viscount William Brouncker was best known as an eminent mathematician and the first president of the Royal Society. His most celebrated discovery was Brouncker's formula which expressed the ratio of the diameter of a circle to its circumference as a continued fraction. This portrait shows him pointing at a mathematical diagram, marking the sitter's contribution to the progress of science. Brouncker presented another version of this portrait to the Royal Society, possibly a copy by Matthew Snelling. Another probable copy belongs to the National Portrait Gallery, London.
Current Accession Number 1928:16
Former Accession Number No. 735
Subject portrait (Viscount William Brouncker)
Measurements 125.7 x 102.9 cm cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Bequeathed by Mrs Fallon 1928.
Publications Beckett, R. B., Lely, London, 1951, cat. no. 57, p. 37; Piper, D., Catalogue of Seventeenth-Century Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery, Cambridge, 1963.

Two other versions exist in the National Portrait Gallery, London, and at the Royal Society, both thought to be contemporary copies after an original by Lely. A label on the Royal Society's painting states 'Studio Copy after Sir Peter Lely'; apparently 'it is identicial in every respect to that in Cheltenham'. Another copy is recorded in the Witt Library. A smaller copy is at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.

Listed in Andrews, G., Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum Service: Fine Art Collection: Checklist Catalogue, 1979, cat. no. 735.

Mrs Fallon, Charlton Kings.

Rights Owner Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museums
Author Dr Anne L. Cowe



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