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PORTRAIT OF HENRY MEREDYTH
Circa 1675 –1739
Oil on canvas 50 x 40 inches
Framed size 58 ½ x 49 inches
Charles Jervas was born in Ireland (probably Dublin as he was described as ‘Charles Jervas of the city of Dublin, gent’ in 1697-8). He received a good education before assisting in Kneller’s studio from 1694 –1695. Jervas attracted the patronage of Norris, Keeper of Paintings to William III and made various copies of pictures, (including Raphael cartoons) at Hampton Court by 1695.
He began traveling by 1699 and went to Paris, then Italy and had settled in Rome by the end of 1703. There he studied the old masters, making many copies and stayed there until 1708 then returned to London.
Thanks to Jervas’ friendship with prominent members of the literary world such as Steel, Pope and Swift whose portraits he painted, Jervas fast became a fashionable portraitist.
He painted a number of ladies as shepherdesses or country girls (Tatler 4, April 1709), had a number of standard poses, which he was fond of repeating and refined his drapery style by copying Van Dyck.
He succeeded Kneller as Principal Painter to the King in 1723 and held the post under George I and II.
In 1727 Jervas married Penelope Hume a widowed lady of financial substance.
Jervis remained based in London until his death, although he made a number of lengthy visits to Ireland. It is also thought he may have travelled to Jamaica and Italy for relief from asthma.
Charles Jervas died in London on November 2nd 1739.
His collection was sold in March 1740 (516 lots).
Works in Public Collections: National Portrait Gallery London, Dulwich Art Gallery, National Gallery of Ireland, London University, Leeds, Bodleian Library.
Bibl: Dictionary of 18th Century Painters – E. Waterhouse
Henry Meredyth came from an old Irish family with estates in County Meath. His great grandfather was Richard Meredyth, Bishop of Ferns and Leighlin, who held the Deanery of St. Patrick’s Dublin. His father was Thomas Meredyth of Newton, County Meath who was M.P for Navan and who married Catherine daughter of John Baldwin of Corolanty Kings County in 1704. Henry Meredyth was a barrister in Dublin and in 1748 married Frances daughter of Charles Patrick Plunket of Killonstown, County Louth.
|Height||49.00 inch||(124.46 cm)|
|Width||39.25 inch||(99.69 cm)|
|External Height||58.50 inch||(148.59 cm)|
|External Width||49.00 inch||(124.46 cm)|
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