portrait of sir john percival bart 162986 circle of sir peter lely

Portrait of Sir John Percival, Bart. (1629-86) Circle of Sir Peter Lely



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The sitter is Sir John Percival, Bart. of Lohort Castle, Cork. Son of Sir Phillip Percival and Catherine Usher, he was born in 1629 into a wealthy English family who settled in Ireland during the reign of Elizabeth I. The Percivals had been richly rewarded by Elizabeth with estates in Ireland as a result of the work of Sir John's grandfather, Richard Percival, who had played a pivotal role in decoding documents captured from the Spanish which subsequently proved to be the invasion plans for the Armada.
Sir John Percival inherited Lohort Castle on his father,s death in 1653, but also built another magnificent house Burton Park, at Churchtown, in 1676. He married Katherine Dering, sister to Mary, Lady Knatchbull, an ancestor of the Brabourne family of Kent.
Sir John Percival died in 1686. Tragically his great work Burton Park was plundered and ruinated in 1694 by repparees, retreating from their defeat by William of Orange at the Battle of Boyle. The house stood a ruin until it was rebuilt by one of Percivals decendents, now the Earls of Egmont, in 1790.
Records show that Percival was painted by both Sir Peter Lely and Sir Godfrey Kneller, the most eminent royal portraitists of the time. This picture, painted circa 1680, reveals a close knowledge of the work of Lely. The depiction of the costume is typical of Lely and the Restoration in its flamboyance, but the handling of the paint and softer modelling suggest the hand of Henry Tilson, a pupil and later assistant of Lely's, and a painter of great charm in his own right.
SIZE:Oil on canvas 50 x 40 ins
In carved and gilded frame 57 x 47 ins
Inscribed, upper right,
'Sir John Percivele Bart.'
By direct descent from the Brabourne family, descendants of Lord Mountbatten
This portrait of Sir John Percival hung in the collection of Patricia, Countess of Burma, Lady Brabourne, wife of Sir John Brabourne and daughter of Lord Mountbatten.
An old label on the reverse records the location: 'Lady Brabourne, 1st Landing, 66' where it hung next to the portrait of his wife Katherine, at the family seat of Mersham Le Hatch, Kent.
Latterly in a private collection in an Elizabethan country house in East Anglia.
Internal Ref: nfrk1

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