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Dimensions: 76 x 64cm (30 x 25in)
John Egerton, Viscount Brackley, was born in February 1704, the son of Scroop Egerton, the 1st Duke of Bridgewater and Lady Elizabeth Churchill, the daughter of John Churchill the 1st Duke of Marlborough and Sarah Jennings. He died aged 14 in January 1719 whilst at Eton College, Windsor and was buried at Little Gaddesden, Hertfordshire.
George Knapton (1698-1778) was an English portrait painter on oils and pastels. He was apprenticed to Jonathan Richardson from 1715-22. Circa 1732 he began producing portraits in pastels and was one of the first fashionable practitioners. He was a foundation member and official painter to the Dilettanti Society in 1763, but seemed to have given up painting c. 1755.
This painting was executed during Knapton's apprenticeship with Richardson and similarities with Richard's drawing style can be seen, whilst his brushwork and colour palette suggest someone who is inclined more towards pastels. Knapton painted many portraits of children and similar examples in style and composition are the portraits of William Napier, sold by Christie's in November 1991 and of Lafy Louisa Conolly at Castletown House.
Private collection, USA
Sotheby's New York sale, 28th January 2006
Private collection, London until 2015