This man was a member of parliament for forty-six years. Strongly religious, he was a great believer in democracy and felt uncomfortable referring to the House of Commons as the ‘lower’ house. He wears his Parliamentary robes and, in a break with convention, sits comfortably rather than standing formally posed. Kneller was born in Germany, but trained in Amsterdam and studied in Italy before moving to England in 1676. Towards the end of the century, after the deaths of Peter Lely and John Riley, Kneller became the leading portrait painter in Britain.
Gallery label, April 2007
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