CURATOR, TIM BATCHELOR: William Dobson is regarded by many as the greatest native-born British painter of the seventeenth century, working at a time when British art was dominated by artists born and trained overseas. NARRATOR: Curator Tim Batchelor. If that’s the artist, what about his sitter? TIM BATCHELOR: Endymion Porter was a leading figure at the court of Charles I, a collector and a patron of the arts. He is shown here dressed as a country squire receiving the quarry of his hunt, his page presenting him with a dead rabbit, his faithful dog looking on. In the background is a large marble bust of Apollo, God of the Arts, symbolising Porter’s patronage of the arts. It may also allude to the Apollo Room at a tavern where literary gatherings and poetry readings took place. The references to the arts is continued in the classical frieze in the bottom right corner which depicts the muses of painting, sculpture and poetry. As a supporter of the King, Porter had to flee London for the safety of Oxford with the Royal Court, when civil war erupted in the 1640s. The artist, William Dobson, followed the exiled court there, which is where this portrait was probably painted.