x SOLD : Fine Pair of Period Portraits attributed to John Closterman


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A Fine Pair of Oval portraits in period carved 18th Century frames, attributed to John Closterman circa 1690. Canvas later laid onto board. Both in original Gilt frames.

Biography: John Closterman (1660-1711) was born in Osnabruck, the son of an artist. His early training was from his father, but in 1679 he moved to Paris where for two years he studied under the portraitist Francois de Troy. 

In 1681 Closterman came to England and entered into partnership with the established portrait painter John Riley. By 1683 he had developed an independent practice; he was adept at baroque poses still with a slightly French influence, with rather flashily painted drapery. His clients were mainly from the intellectual and professional middle classes, and included some of the leading writers, artists, musicians and physicians of the day. 

In the 1690's, as his reputation grew, he painted for more exalted and aristocratic patrons, like the Dukes of Somerset and Marlborough. He lived in great splendour in his house in Covent Garden with his wife Hannah. 

In 1699, after a visit to Rome, he fell under the spell of the Antique and painted his famous full length portraits of the Earl of Shaftesbury in Classical pose. Closterman's last documented portrait is 1704, and he devoted his last years to dealing in Old Master paintings. 

An exhibition of his work was held by the National Portrait Gallery in 1981 under the title of 'Master of the Baroque Portrait.

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