Godfrey Kneller

Godfrey Kneller

Sir Godfrey Kneller, 1st Baronet (8 August 1646 – 19 October 1723) was the leading portrait painter in England during the late 17th and early 18th centuries, and was court painter to British monarchs from Charles II to George I. His major works include "The Chinese Convert" (1687); a series of four portraits of Isaac Newton painted at various junctures of the latter's life; a series of ten reigning European monarchs, including King Louis XIV of France; over 40 "Kit-cat portraits" of members of the Kit-Cat Club; and ten "beauties" of the court of William III, to match a similar series of ten beauties of the court of Charles II painted by his predecessor as court painter, Sir Peter Lely.

Kneller was born Gottfried Kniller in Lübeck, Germany. Kneller studied in Leiden, but became a pupil of Ferdinand Bol and Rembrandt in Amsterdam. He worked in Rome and Venice in the early 1670s, painting historical subjects and portraits, and later moved to Hamburg. He came to England in 1674, at the invitation of the Duke of Monmouth, accompanied by his brother, John Zacharias Kneller, who was an ornamental painter. He was introduced to, and painted a portrait of, Charles II. In England, Kneller concentrated almost entirely on portraiture. He founded a studio which churned out portraits on an almost industrial scale, relying on a brief sketch of the face with details added to a formulaic model, aided by the fashion for gentlemen to wear full wigs. His portraits set a pattern that was followed until William Hogarth and Joshua Reynolds.

Nevertheless, he established himself as a leading portrait artist in England. When Sir Peter Lely died in 1680, Kneller was appointed Principal Painter to the Crown by Charles II. In the 1690s, Kneller painted the Hampton Court Beauties depicting the most glamorous ladies-in-waiting of the Royal Court for which he received his knighthood from William III. He produced a series of "Kit-cat" portraits of 48 leading politicians and men of letters, members of the Kit-Cat Club. Created a baronet by King George I, he was also head of the "Kneller Academy of Painting and Drawing" 1711-1716 in Great Queen Street, London. His paintings were praised by Whig luminaries such as John Dryden, Joseph Addison, Richard Steele, and Alexander Pope.

Kneller died of fever in 1723 and his remains were interred in Twickenham Church (he was a churchwarden there when the 14th century nave collapsed in 1713 and was involved in the plans for its reconstruction). The site of the house he built in 1709 in Whitton near Twickenham is now occupied by the mid-19th century Kneller Hall, home of the Royal Military School of Music.


In his hometown Lübeck there are works to be seen in the St. Annen Museum and in Saint Catherine Church. His former works at St. Mary's Church were destroyed by the Bombing of Lübeck 1942.

ee also

*English school of painting
*Kneller Hall

External links

* [http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/walker/collections/17c/kneller.asp King Charles II (1685)] at the [http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/walker/ Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool]
* [http://www.artcyclopedia.com/artists/kneller_sir_godfrey.html Artcyclopedia: Sir Godfrey Kneller]
* [http://www.kfki.hu/~arthp/bio/k/kneller/biograph.html Biography]
* [http://35.1911encyclopedia.org/K/KN/KNELLER_SIR_GODFREY.htm Encyclopedia: Kneller, Sir Godfrey]
* [http://www.npg.org.uk/live/search/person.asp?LinkID=mp02571&role=art Portraits by Kneller] at the National Portrait Gallery
* [http://www.npg.org.uk/live/search/portrait.asp?LinkID=mp02571&rNo=8&role=art Self-portrait] at the National Portrait Gallery

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  • Godfrey Kneller — Retrato de Sir John Vanbrugh, considerado una de las obras más finas de Kneller. Sir Godfrey Kneller (8 de agosto de 1646–19 de octubre de 1723) fue un artista que trabajó como pintor de la corte para varios reyes ingleses. Gottfried Kniller… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Godfrey Kneller — Autoportrait de Godfrey Kneller. Godfrey Kneller ou Gottfried Kneller, (8 août 1646 à Lübeck – 19 octobre 1723 à Londres) est un peintre de portraits britannique. Le nom qu il portait à Lübeck était Gottfried Kniller et …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Kneller Hall — is a stately home in the Twickenham area of west London, and takes its name from Sir Godfrey Kneller, court painter to British monarchs from Charles II to George I. Today it houses the Royal Military School of Music, training musicians for the… …   Wikipedia

  • Kneller — is a surname and may refer to:*Andreas Kneller, German composer *Sir Godfrey Kneller, German born English portrait painter, brother of Andreas*Kneller Hall, stately home in Twickenham, named after Sir Godfrey …   Wikipedia

  • Kneller — oder Kniller ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Andreas Kneller (1649–1724), Komponist, Sohn von Zacharias Kniller Gottfried Kniller/Godfrey Kneller (1646–1723), Hofmaler mehrerer britischer Monarchen, Sohn von Zacharias Kniller Johann… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Godfrey — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Patronyme Godfrey est le nom de famille des personnes suivantes : Alexander Godfrey (1756 1803), corsaire pour le compte de l Angleterre Arthur… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Kneller — (eigentlich Kniller), Gottfried, Maler, geb. 8. Aug. 1646 in Lübeck, gest. 7. Nov. 1723 in Twickenham bei London, widmete sich in Amsterdam bei Ferdinand Bol der Malerei und ging dann nach Rom und Venedig, wo er anfangs die Geschichtsmalerei,… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Gottfried von Kneller — Godfrey Kneller, Selbstporträt Sir Godfrey Kneller (* 8. August 1646 in Lübeck; † 19. Oktober 1723 in London) war Hofmaler mehrerer britischer Monarchen. Inhaltsverzeichnis …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Kneller, Sir Godfrey, Baronet — ▪ British painter original name  Gottfried Kniller   born Aug. 8, 1646, Lübeck [Germany] died Oct. 19, 1723, London, Eng.       painter who became the leading portraitist in England during the late 17th and early 18th centuries.       He studied… …   Universalium

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