John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough (1650-1722) army officer and politician

  • About the work
    Location
    Country: Austria
    City: Vienna
    Place: British Embassy

    Army officer and politician John Churchill, first Duke of Marlborough wears a suit of armour, a wig, a lace necktie and the collar and Lesser George; the latter two demonstrating his membership of the Order of the Garter.

    This mezzotint print of 1705 is thought to have been made after a portrait by artist Godfrey Kneller of c.1700-03, which is now untraced. Kneller’s equestrian portrait of Marlborough of c.1706, showing the Duke on a rearing charger accompanied by Hercules, several ‘putti’ and other figures, is now in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery, London.

  • About the artist
    Godfrey Kneller was born in Lübeck, Germany. He moved to Amsterdam in 1662 to study painting under Rembrandt and Ferdinand Bol. He later trained with Gianlorenzo Bernini and Carlo Maratta in Rome. He returned to Lübeck in 1675, before moving to Hamburg and then to London to study the works of van Dyck. In England he received commissions from prominent figures, including Charles II. Charles sent Kneller to France in 1684, to paint the portrait of Louis XIV. Kneller maintained his position at court after the accession of James II in 1685 and, when William and Mary came to the throne, he and portraitist John Riley became joint Principal Painters to the Crown. Following Riley’s death, Kneller alone retained the position. He was 77 when he died.
  • Explore
    People
    Churchill, John, 1st Duke of Marlborough
    Places
    Materials & Techniques
    mezzotint
  • Details
    Title
    John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough (1650-1722) army officer and politician
    Date
    1705
    Medium
    Mezzotint
    Acquisition
    Presented by British Embassy staff, Vienna, 1957
    GAC number
    15297