portrait of mary lady vere circle of william larkin

Portrait of Mary, Lady Vere; Circle of William Larkin.


| $13,295 USD | €11,314 EUR

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Oil on canvas in a reproduction 'cassetta' frame of appropriate type.
This is a 'head and shoulders' version of the full length of Mary, Lady Vere, in the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia.
MARY, LADY VERE (1581–1671), a highly distinguished member of the English aristocracy. Mary was in her early thirties when she sat for Larkin, and she wears the sombre yet opulent costume befitting a married noblewoman. She lived an extraordinary life that spanned the reigns of Elizabeth I, James I, Charles I, Oliver Cromwell and Charles II, until her death at the age of ninety-one – a remarkable age at a time when the average life expectancy in England was thirty-five. At the age of nineteen she was wed to William Hoby, with whom she had two sons prior to his death in 1602. In 1607 she married Sir Horace Vere and would have five daughters from this second marriage. A professional soldier, Sir Horace saw active service during the Dutch wars against Spanish rule. Lady Vere accompanied him to the Netherlands for a number of years, during which time the couple became actively involved with Calvinism. Throughout her life Lady Vere supported a number of puritan and protestant ministers, promoting their careers and fortunes. In 1643, at the start of England’s Civil War, Lady Vere was asked by Parliament to care for two of Charles I’s seven children; the other five having been taken to safety in France by the queen, Henrietta Maria. (Laurie Benson and Ted Gott. NGV.)
WILLIAM LARKIN (early 1580s – 1619) was an English painter active from 1609 until his death in 1619, known for his iconic portraits of members of the Court of James I of England. William Larkin was one of the most accomplished portrait painters of Jacobean England, yet little is known of him.
He was born in London in the early 1580s, and lived in the parishes of St Sepulchre-without-Newgate, Holborn, and St Anne, Blackfriars. He was a close neighbour of the eminent artist Robert Peake, portrait painter to Henry, Prince of Wales, and it well may have been Peake who introduced Larkin to painting. He became a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers on 7 July 1606 under the patronage of Lady Arbella Stuart and Edward Seymour, 1st Earl of Hertford. Married before 1612, he buried a stillborn son in that year; a son, William, in 1613; and a daughter, Mary, in January 1614/15, all at St Anne Blackfriars. Another daughter called Mary was alive at the time of his death. He died sometime between the witnessing of his will on 10 April 1619 and its proving on 14 May. The date of his burial is unknown because the parish records were destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666.
About 40 portraits by Larkin have been identified, of courtiers and gentry, but he seems never to have painted members of the royal family. Documentary evidence of Larkin's work is found in the Diary of Lady Anne Clifford, who sat for him in 1619; in the Rutland Papers for 1617 and 1619; and in a seventeenth-century inventory of paintings at Claydon House including a portrait of Frances Carr, Countess of Somerset.
Larkin's work marks the last stage in a tradition of English portraiture traceable from the later work of Hans Holbein the Younger through Nicholas Hilliard in which the sitter is painted in flat, lightly modelled fashion. The deaths of Hilliard, Larkin, and fellow-portraitist Robert Peake the Elder in 1619 mark the end of this insular tradition in British art.
SIZE: 35.5 x 31 inches including the frame.
PROVENANCE: Irish country house collection.
Internal Ref: 9098


Height = 90 cm (36")
Width = 79 cm (31")
Depth = 4 cm (2")

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