STUDIO OF ROBERT WALKER (BRITISH 1599-1658)
PORTRAIT OF WILLIAM SEYMOUR, 2ND DUKE OF SOMERSET, 1ST MARQUESS OF HERTFORD (1587-1660), FULL-LENGTH, IN ARMOUR, HOLDING A MARSHAL'S BATON
Inscribed marqvis of hertford lower right
Oil on canvas
86 ¼ x 51 in. (219.1 x 129.5 cm.)
In a seventeenth century carved giltwood auricular frame
Probably commissioned by Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon (1609-1674), Clarendon House, London, and by descent to his son
Henry Hyde, 2nd Earl of Clarendon (1638-1709), Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire, and by inheritance at Cornbury, and later The Grove, Hertfordshire, to his nephew,
Henry Hyde, 2nd Earl of Rochester and later 4th Earl of Clarendon (1672-1753), and by descent to his son,
Henry Hyde, 5th Baron Hyde and Viscount Cornbury (1710-1753), in 1749, and by inheritance to his niece,
Charlotte (d.1790), eldest daughter of William Capel, 3rd Earl of Essex (1697-1743), who married Thomas Villiers, 1st Earl of Clarendon (1709-1786), and by descent to,
The 7 th Earl Clarendon's Will Trust
Sale, Christie's, London, 9 th December 2015, lot 144.
Purchased at the above sale by the present owner
Clarendon State Papers , Bodleian MS Clarendon 92, ff 253-254, no. 31.
G. P. Harding, List of Portraits, Pictures in Various Mansions in the United Kingdom , unpublished MS, 1804, II, p. 209.
J. Smith, A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch, Flemish, and French Painters , London, 1831, III, p. 165, no. 574, as Van Dyck.
E. Lodge, Portraits of illustrious personages of Great Britain , London, 1835, VII, no. 131.
Lady T. Lewis, Lives of the Friends and Contemporaries of Lord Chancellor Clarendon , London, 1852, III, pp. 253, 335-338.
G. F. Waagen, Treasures of Art in Great Britain , London, 1854, II, p. 455.
R. Gibson, Catalogue of Portraits in the Collection of the Earl of Clarendon , Wallop, 1977, p. 113-4, no. 126.
Plymouth, City Art Gallery, Paintings from the Clarendon Collection , 1954, no. 28.
William Seymour was a moderate Royalist who had opposed the King in the House of Lords in the early years of his reign, He became an important commander in the Royalist army during the Civil War and led numerous decisive battles. He negotiated the surrender of Oxford, Charles I's headquarters during the wars between 1644 and 1646, and attended the King during his impeachment. The prototype for this picture is most probably a half-length portrait, signed and dated 1656, in the collection of the Duke of Northumberland at Syon House. While other versions exist, this is the only one that includes the pike-men in the background and it has been suggested that it could have been painted by a member of Walker's studio shortly after the artist's death in 1658 (Gibson, op.cit.). The portrait certainly postdates 1660 since, although Seymour was created knight of the Garter in 1650, he was not in fact installed until 1660, and no other portrait shows him wearing the Badge of the Order.
This picture formed part of Clarendon's collection of portraits that decorated his celebrated picture gallery at Clarendon House, Piccadilly, built between 1664 and 1667 to designs by Roger Pratt. These portraits included notable figures from the reigns of Elizabeth I and James I, but also of men and women he had known and written about in his famous History of the Great Rebellion and Life . After dining with Clarendon's eldest son, Henry Hyde, Viscount Cornbury, John Evelyn wrote the following entry in his diary for 20th December 1668: 'I dined with my Lord Cornbury at Clarendon House now bravely furnished, especially with the pictures of most of our ancient and modern wits, poets, philosophers, famous and learned Englishmen' (J. Evelyn, The Diary of John Evelyn, II , W. Bray (ed.), New York and London, 1901, p. 45).
Canvas has been relined and re-varnished. Unexamined under UV light.
Looks like it has no holes or patches. In good clean condition. The frame has some gesso losses
The dimensions are for the canvas frame are 258x 158 approx
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