A fine three quarter length portrait of a gentleman traditionally identified as Gilbert Simpkin (Sympkin), follower of Enoch Seeman the younger, C1720. The portrait is set in a feigned sculptured oval cartouche, a device used to give a sense of depth. The sitter is depicted wearing a fashionable blue jacket and matching waistcoat with a white chemise and lace jabot. He wears a powdered wig in the fashionable style of the day and is posed holding his hat under his left arm with the fingers of his right hand stretched out. At court, long fingers signified wealth, culture and intelligence. The painting has clearly been executed by an artist of great ability who has been influenced by Enoch Seeman the younger.
Gilbert Simpkin (Sympkin) was born in London on 24 August 1683, the son of John Simpkin and Susannah Butler. His grandfather was also called Gilbert Simpkin. He entered Oxford University in 1700 where he studied at St John’s College. In 1702, he became a student of Middle Temple, which at the time was one of the world’s most important centres of legal education. He later settled in Plymouth and then Bristol. He died in Bristol on 15 May, 1744 and was buried at Bristol Cathedral. He remained unmarried and the portrait may well have been commissioned to commemorate when he was first Called to the Bar or perhaps had established his own practice.
Enoch Seeman or Seemann the younger was born in Danzig, Germany now Gdansk, Poland in 1694. His father was Enoch Seeman Senior, an artist of Flemish origin and his brothers Isaac, Noah and Abraham also became artists. He came to London with his father and brothers around 1704 and established himself as a portrait artist. From 1717 he became painter to the Royal court painting portraits of George I and his family was later commissioned to paint coronation portraits of George II and his wife Queen Caroline of Ansbach. He also painted portraits of other members of the nobility as well as important public figures including the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough, Sir Isaac Newton, Sir James Dashwood, Lady Diana Cecil and Lady Caroline D'Arcy, Countess of Ancram. He died in London in 1744.
Examples of his work are held in a number of public collections including the Birmingham Museum, English Heritage, Ipswich Museum, National Trust, The Royal Collection, University of Cambridge, University of Oxford and Watford Museum. His paintings can also be found at the Met Museum, New York and the Fine Art Museum of San Francisco.
|The painting is housed in its original gilt frame which is in excellent condition.
|As with all of our original antique oil paintings, this work is offered in ready to hang gallery condition, having been professionally cleaned, restored and revarnished.
|29.25 inches x 24.5 inches (74.5cm x 62cm)
|38 inches x 33.25 inches (96.5cm x 84.5cm)