At the date of the painting, both sitter and artist were at the height of their careers: Newton the great renaissance man, whose work in astronomy, mathematics, the theory of gravity and the study of optics had changed the very nature of Science, and Kneller, artist to a succession of English Kings, founder of the first English Academy (1711) and the artistic leader of London Society.

The painting dates from the very end of Kneller's long and successful career and illustrates the Augustan ideal in portraiture: sober, straightforward in technique and characterisation, classicising, and with a fine simpliciry and Gravitas. Kneller had previously painted Newton twice and this painting is the largest and most formal of the three.

Provenance

Lane Fine Art.


Grantham Museum

St Peter's Hill, Grantham, Lincolnshire, NG31 6PY
01476 568 783
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Thu ​– Sat, 10am – 4pm

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