George Jeffreys, 1st Baron Jeffreys (1648-1689) Lord Chancellor
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- About the work
About the artist
Robert White was born in London and was apprenticed to line engraver David Loggan. White engraved numerous plates between 1666 and 1702, mostly portrait line engravings commissioned as frontispieces for books. These were usually engraved from his own drawings on vellum, sketched from life. He also engraved book-plates, almanacs, architectural views and processions, publishing some prints from his home in Bloomsbury Market. In 1674 he took on an apprentice, John Stuart. From about 1680 to 1683 he experimented with publishing mezzotint prints. His son, George, was born in about 1684 and followed his father in becoming an engraver. The two worked together until White’s death. Despite earlier success, he died in poverty at about the age of 58.
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.