Godfrey Kneller

Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt
Godfrey Kneller Selfportrait.jpg
Sir Godfrey Kneller – Self portrait
Gottfried Kniller

(1646-08-08)8 August 1646
Died19 October 1723(1723-10-19) (aged 77)
ResidenceLondon, England
NationalityGerman, later British
Known forLeading portrait painter of England

Sir Godfrey Kneller, 1st Baronet (born Gottfried Kniller; 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 English and British monarchs from Charles II to George I. His major works include The Chinese Convert (1687; Royal Collection, London); 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 of Charles II's mistresses painted by Kneller's predecessor as court painter, Sir Peter Lely.

Early life

Sir John Vanbrugh in Kneller's Kit-cat portrait, considered one of Kneller's finest portraits
Portrait of John Locke

Kneller was born Gottfried Kniller in the Free City of Lübeck, the son of Zacharias Kniller, a portrait painter.[1] Kneller studied in Leiden, but became a pupil of Ferdinand Bol and Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn in Amsterdam. He then travelled with his brother John Zacharias Kneller, who was an ornamental painter, to Rome and Venice in the early 1670s, painting historical subjects and portraits in the studio of Carlo Maratti, and later moved to Hamburg.

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українська: Годфрі Неллер