portrait of capt james monypenny rn 1702 by michael dahl

Portrait of Capt. James Monypenny, R.N. 1702, by Michael Dahl.


| $13,118 USD | €11,333 EUR

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Oil on canvas in a period giltwood Maratta frame.
This fine portrait descended through the ancient Moneypenny family for over 300 years. The ancestral seat of the family was Pitmilly House in Scotland, and they have been associated with it for over 800 years, when Thomas, Prior of St Andrews, granted a charter of the lands of Pitmilly to Richard Monipennie in 1211. The current baron is the 29th generation of the family. This portrait was part of a significant family collection of portraits which, extraordinarily, remained together with the family until recently.
The sitter is Captain James Monypenny, the son of Arthur Monypenny. He married Mary Gybbon (1685–1756), daughter of John Gybbon, on 31 May 1714. James Moneypenny was the nineteenth generation of that family. In 1697 he was Lieutenant in the Royal Navy, and in 1704 he was a Captain at the Capture of Gibraltar, Battle of Malaga, and Battle of Marbella. He was also Captain of the ship HMS Superb from 1710 to 1714 and Captain of the ship The Royal Oak in 1715. Between September and November 1711 he captured four French ships engaged in the Levant trade. The resulting prize money formed the basis of his fortune. He purchased the ancient Maytham Estate (the estate dates from Saxon times and at least four Norman lords had manors there) and commenced the building of Maytham Hall in 1714.
The family have been associated with Pitmilly, Scotland, since 1211 and the estate remained in the family until the 20th century, when the house was destroyed by fire. A nominal four acres were retained to keep the feudal barony alive.
The origins of the family name by legend are that Malcolm III Cænnmor, King of Scotland, being obliged to flee after his father Duncan the Gracious was killed by Macbeth in 1040, found refuge with a wealthy French merchant named James Dauphin. When the King sought to recover his Kingdom, he asked his friend for a few pennies, whereupon James Dauphin replied, "Not a few pennies but many pennies", and his two sons fought at the side of the King. When the Kingdom was recovered, the King gifted to the eldest son James, the lands of Pitmilly, Fife, and married him to a lady related to Macduff, Thane of Fife.
MICHAEL DAHL (1659-1743) was born in Stockholm; after studying in Paris, Rome and Frankfurt he settled in London in 1689. He soon became the best patronised portrait painter in England after Kneller. He was much employed at the Court painting many portraits; a great patron of the 1690s was the Duke of Somerset, for whom he painted the series of portraits of Court ladies known as the 'Petworth Beauties'.
His style is extremely close to Kneller but his interpretation of character is less brash and more human. He has a quieter but somehow more understanding appeal to character which relies on its own integrity to make its impact; his works are of a real distinction.
This painting is typical of Dahl's sensitive portraiture showing intelligence and a sense of humour in the sitter.
SIZE: 36.5 x 31.5 inches including the frame.
PROVENANCE: From the sitter at Maytham Hall and Pitmilly House, and by descent through the family until recently. Old inscriptions and labels verso.
Internal Ref: 9242


Height = 90 cm (36")
Width = 80 cm (32")
Depth = 6 cm (3")

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