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Title Portrait of Sir Bevil Grenville at the Battle of Lansdown
Collection Victoria Art Gallery, Bath
Artist School of Dyck, Anthony van (Flemish painter, 1599-1641, active in England)
Previously attributed to after Dyck, Anthony van (Flemish painter, 1599-1641, active in England)
Date Earliest possibly about 1643
Date Latest possibly about 1645
Description A three-quarter length portrait of Sir Bevil Grenville (1596-1643). Assuming the work commemorates the Battle of Lansdown (1643) as traditionally believed, the subject looks youthful for his 47 years. He has light-brown shoulder-length hair, cut in a short fringe on his forehead, and a trim moustache and beard. He is depicted wearing armour with a short lace collar, a red belt and breeches. His left wrist rests on his sword hilt, and in his gauntleted right hand he holds what seems to be the scabbard. As a backdrop to the left, masonry carries the Grenville arms of three clarions.
Current Accession Number BATVG:P:1954.2
Subject portrait (Sir Bevil Grenville); animal (horse); military and war; figure
Measurements 54 x 21 cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Purchased from Sir Vincent Baddeley 1954.
Publications Sloman, S., Victoria Art Gallery: Concise Catalogue of Paintings and Drawings, Bath, 1991, p. 109.
Notes Sir Bevil Grenville was the grandson of the Elizabethan naval hero, Sir Richard Grenville. Sir Bevil's stance in the present work partly reflects that in a portrait of his grandfather, by an unknown artist (National Portrait Gallery, London, NPG 1612). Sir Bevil Grenville owned large estates in Cornwall and represented Cornwall in Parliament from 1621. During the civil war Sir Bevil fought for the Royalists, and distinguished himself at the Battle of Lansdown, near Bath, where he led a Cornish infantry. If the present work indeed commemorates the Lansdown battle, it must have been painted posthumously, as Grenville died during the battle. In 1720 a monument was erected to mark the spot where it is believed he died on Lansdown Hill. The depiction of Grenville's physiognomy is similar to that in an early nineteenth-century engraving by Robert Cooper (after an unknown artist, NPG D2807). This suggests Cooper's print was taken directly from the Victoria Art Gallery portrait, or that both were taken from a common source. (However, the armour and collar are quite different in the engraving.)

In his public service career, Sir Vincent Baddeley served as First Principal Assistant Secretary (1921-31) and Deputy Secretary (1931-35) to the Admiralty.
Rights Owner Victoria Art Gallery, Bath
Author Dr Susan Steer
 

 

 

 

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