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Mary (Somerset), Duchess of Ormonde (1665-1733)

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Mary (Somerset), Duchess of Ormonde (1665-1733)

After: Sir Godfrey Kneller (German, 1646-1723)

Engraver: John Smith (English, 1652-1743)

Date: 1702
Medium: Mezzotint
Dimensions:
Overall: 17 7/16 x 11 1/8in. (44.3 x 28.3cm)
Image: 16 x 10 7/16in. (40.6 x 26.5cm)
Plate: 16 11/16 x 10 7/16in. (42.4 x 26.5cm)
Credit Line: Owen D. Young Collection. Gift of Mrs. Josephine Young Case and Mr. Richard Young
Object number: 66.130
Label Text
This stately, full-length portrait of the beautiful Mary Somerset, depicted in a classical, stage-like setting with a black servant holding her gown's train, is based on a work by Godfrey Kneller, the leading portrait painter in England during the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Kneller's image of Somerset follows in the tradition of the famous series of portraits he painted around 1690 of the most glamorous ladies-in-waiting of the royal court of William and Mary, called the "Hampton Court Beauties" because of their location at Hampton Court Palace in England. Mary Somerset, who was honored at court as Lady of the Bedchamber, also attracted the admiration of the English poet, John Dryden (1631-1700), who dedicated his poem "Palamon and Arcite" to her shortly before this print was published. It was engraved by John Smith, who had a virtual monopoly on the production of prints after pictures by Kneller.

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Copyright
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