Godfrey Kneller

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    Godfrey Kneller: A British Painter

     Godfrey Kneller is well-known as a British painter born in Germany; Godfrey Kneller settled in England and became the chief portraitist there in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. He studied in Amsterdam with Bol, a student of Rembrandt, and later in Italy. Before moving to England, likely in the mid-1670s, the timely death of serious rivals (especially Lely) and his arrogant self-confidence enabled him to establish himself as the dominant court and society painter of the early reign of Jaime II. 1685). 

     After accession to the throne of Wilhelm III and Mary II in 1689, he was named the chief painter along with John Riley. When Riley died in 169, he became the sole holder of the title and got knighted in 1692 and baronet of George I in 1715, which was an unprecedented honor for a painter. 

     Kneller was in France and painted Louis XIV for Charles II. Court painter to Jacobo II and Jorge I was appointed chief painter to Guillermo and María in 1688. The Presence of the King, Honorary Doctor of Oxford University. In 1700 he was made a Knight of the Holy Roman Empire by Emperor Leopold I. 

     In 1711 he became the governor of the first London academy and was re-elected annually until 1718. In 1715, Georg I gave Kneller the baroness when he lost his life in London; around five hundred works remained unfinished in his studio.

     Personal life of Godfrey Kneller: 

     He married the widow Susanna Grave on January 23, 1704, at St. Bride's Church in London. She was the daughter of Reverend John Cawley, Archdeacon of Lincoln and Rector of Henley-on-Thames, and granddaughter of the Kingslayer William Cawley. But unfortunately, the couple had no children.

     Death of Godfrey Kneller: 

     Kneller died of a fever on Great Queen Street in 1723, and his remains were interred in Twickenham. He was the caretaker of the church at St. Mary's, Twickenham when the fourteenth-century nave collapsed in 1713 and was actively involved in John James' plans to rebuild the church. His widow was buried in Twickenham on December 11, 1729. 

     A memorial was erected in Westminster Abbey. Kneller's will gave his assistant Edward Byng a pension of £ 100 a year and hired Byng to see that any unfinished work was completed. 

     In, Byng also inherited the drawings in Kneller's studio. Kneller and his wife had no children together. Most of his fortune was inherited from his grandson Godfrey Kneller Huckle, the son of Agnes Huckle, Kneller's illegitimate daughter of Mrs. Voss, and adopted his grandfather's surname (Kneller) as a condition of his inheritance. Kneller Hall, the Royal Military School of Music home, was on the house that Kneller built-in Whitton near Twickenham in 1709. 

     What are the different works? 

     In his hometown Lübeck some works can be seen in the Museum St. Anna and the Katharinenkirche. His earlier works were destroyed in the Marienkirche bombing of Lübeck in 1942. A large 84 "x 55" oil portrait of James VII of Scotland (King James II of England) hangs on the main steps of the club and Caledonian Club in Belgravia, London.  

    A portrait of Queen Anne from Trinity Hospital in Retford, Nottinghamshire, was attributed to Kneller by the Phillips auction house, although it is unsigned and unauthorized. The hospital has a strong link with Queen Anne, the founder being her grandmother's first cousin. The portrait was restored and cleaned in the year 1999.


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