John Riley 1646–1693
Oil paint on canvas
1270 x 1030 mm
Purchased (Grant-in-Aid) 1955
commissioned by the sitter, who paid £26.17.6 for it in 1689; thence by descent in the Sotheby family, of Hackney and Sewardstone, Essex, and later of Ecton Hall, Northamptonshire, until sold Sotheby Heirlooms sale, Sotheby’s 12 October 1955 (106); bt Agnew (£80) on behalf of the Tate Gallery.
J. Douglas Stewart, ‘Records of Payments to Sir Godfrey Kneller and his Contemporaries’, Burlington Magazine, January 1971, p.30 note 6.
This portrait is recorded in the notebooks of James Sotheby (c.1682–1742), eldest son of the sitter, James Sotheby (1655/6–1720), of Hackney and Sewardstone, Essex. Consisting mainly of extracts from the accounts of his father, the notebooks contain details concerning property and rents, but also the purchase of pictures, miniatures, silver and other works of art. ‘1689. My Father a Half Length by Riley’, he notes, and the payment of £26.17.6…