Early 18th century Portrait of a Gentleman wearing a blue coat holding an open snuff box, said to be John Snell of Hertfordshire

Manner of Michael Dahl
(Circa 1653 – 1743) Swedish
Title Early 18th century Portrait of a Gentleman wearing a blue coat holding an open snuff box, said to be John Snell of Hertfordshire
Category Recently Sold
Medium & Size Oil on canvas: 49 ½ x 40 inches. Framed size: 55 x 46 inches.Circa1690.
Price Band £5,000 - £10,000
Location Hungerford
Biography

Dahl was born on 29 September in Stockholm. He studied there under Ehrenstrahl and was well educated. He travelled to London in 1682 where he met Kneller. From 1684-1689 he accompanied Henry Tilson to Paris, Venice and Rome where they stayed for a year. Then travelled back via Frankfurt and settled in London in March 1689.

By 1700 he was the most successful portrait painter in London after Kneller. He was patronised by Prince George of Denmark and painted a number of portraits of members of the court circle under Queen Anne, including the set of Admirals at Greenwich circa 1702 to 1708. The Duke of Somerset was an enthusiastic patron during the 1690’s for whom he painted the ‘Petworth Beauties’. In 1712 he charged £50 for a full-length royal portrait and in 1724 30 guineas for a half-length. After 1714 he lost Court patronage but was popular with the nobility, the church and the law.

Dahl retired in circa 1740 and died in London aged 90.

Works in Public Collections: Petworth House; National Portrait Gallery; Tate; National Maritime Museum; Blickling Hall; Walker Art Gallery Liverpool; Goodwood House; Stourhead; National Museum Stockholm.

Bibl:   Dictionary of Portrait Painters in Britain – Stewart & Cutten

           Michael Dahl and Contemporary Swedish School of painting in England - Nisser

 

John Snell (died 1724) was a grocer and High Tory and is recorded as being Mayor for the city of Exeter in 1687 and later MP from 1702 to 1708. Lived Salisbury Hall, Hertfordshire. The original site of Salisbury Hall is recorded in the Domesday Book in 800 AD. The current building was built in 1667, and has since been the home of Lady Randolph Churchill and the de Havilland Aircraft Company.

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