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Creator:
Unknown artist, eighteenth century
after Sir Godfrey Kneller, 1646–1723, German, active in Britain (from 1676)
Title:

William Congreve

Former Title(s):

Profile Portrait of William Congreve

Date:
ca. 1715
Medium:
Pearwood
Dimensions:
6 1/2 x 5 1/4 inches (16.5 x 13.3 cm)
Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
B1977.14.10
Classification:
Sculptures
Collection:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
oval | playwright | poet | portrait | wig
Associated People:
Congreve, William (1670–1729), playwright and poet
Access:
Not on view
Link:
https://collections.britishart.yale.edu/catalog/tms:1457
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The production of small, intimate portraits in a variety of materials flourished in the eighteenth century. Painted miniatures were made either from the life or copied from full-size portraits so the likeness of a loved one could be portable and worn on the body. Sculpted relief or intaglio portraits were carved in wood and ivory and often based on other portraits rather than taken from a sitter. The two portraits of Isaac Newton shown here are related to a bust by the sculptor John Michael Rysbrack, who employed the ivory carver Gaspar van der Hagen in his studio. Van der Hagen is identified with other ivory portraits of Newton and may be associated with the artist known only by the initials “G.VDR.” The enterprising potter Josiah Wedgwood exploited the growing demand for these costly portraits by producing ceramic medallions as an affordable alternative, with portraits of popular public figures shown in profile, in imitation of ancient cameos.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2016

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