An exquisite portrait of a Gentleman
An exquisite portrait of a Gentleman
An exquisite portrait of a Gentleman

NICHOLAS DIXON (died 1708)

An exquisite portrait of a Gentleman

c. 1665 United Kingdom

Offered by Ellison Fine Art

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The sitter with small mole to the right of his nose with long hair wears gilt-studded armour and exquisite lace lawn collar
watercolour and gouache on vellum, signed with monogram in gold ND on the obverse, in the original gold frame

Dixon remains the most obscure of the leading figures in the tradition of seventeenth-century miniaturists. Neither his dates nor his parentage are known; his date of birth remains a matter of conjecture based on the dating of his earliest signed work in the 1660s, and his last documented act is of February 1708. In 1673, Dixon would have been a relatively young man when he succeeded Richard Gibson as the king's limner. Although he lacked Cooper's international reputation, it gives an idea of Dixon's talent and ambition that he received the same payment and benefits as his predecessor. There must have been considerable lobbying for the post. Richard Gibson had been a senior and well-known figure among artists, well connected in the royal household, and at the summit of his powers; of the younger generation Peter Cross was already established and producing impressive work. Dixon's appointment may have been due to some extraneous influence but it was more probably due to his being seen as the natural successor to Cooper's courtly manner of painting. Dixon He was also appointed Keeper of the King's Picture Closest.

The vivid blue background harps back to the hand of Hoskins and early work of Samuel Cooper. The miniature is extremely accomplished and based on the sitter's costume dates circa 1665-70. It has not been possible to establish the identity of the sitter with any certainty but it is likely to be a member of the Crew-Milnes family
Very minor restoration to the blue border at 12 o'clock and just beneath the monogram; some oxidisation has been removed from the white highlight on the armour and small patch under the sitter's right eye. Otherwise this miniature is in super condition.
1st Marquess of Crewe
Lady Mary, Duchess of Roxburghe, the goddaughter of Queen Mary.
Height 7.10 cm (2.80 inches)
Stock Code
gouache on vellum
Signed with gold monogram on the obverse
Ellison Fine Art

Ellison Fine Art
United Kingdom

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