The present work is datable to later in Gibson’s career and after the Restoration of Charles II as king. By the 1670s, the favourite court painter in oil was Sir Peter Lely, and here Gibson has recreated in little the sensuous brushwork of Lely’s oil...

Richard Gibson (known as ‘Dwarf Gibson’ in his circle), was born in Cumberland and worked as an apprentice in the famous tapestry works at Mortlake before entering the household of Philip Herbert 4th Earl of Pembroke. By 1639 he was employed in the court as a ‘Page of the Back-Stairs’, experiencing great popularity with Charles I. Through the catalogue of Abraham van der Doort, Keeper for the royal collection, we know that by this point Gibson was actively painting, for the former recounts the artist copying ‘the Picture of Adonis Venus Cupid and some doggs by Peter Oliver after Titian’. Following Pembroke’s death, Gibson attached himself to Charles, 2nd Earl of Carnarvon, Pembroke’s grandson, and throughout the Interregnum painted many people of that circle including Lady Elizabeth Dormer [V&A] and Elizabeth, Countess of Carnarvon [Scottish National Portrait Gallery; exhibited at Philip Mould & Co ‘Warts and All’ 2013 no.37].

The present work is datable to later in Gibson’s...

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Richard Gibson (known as ‘Dwarf Gibson’ in his circle), was born in Cumberland and worked as an apprentice in the famous tapestry works at Mortlake before entering the household of Philip Herbert 4th Earl of Pembroke. By 1639 he was employed in the court as a ‘Page of the Back-Stairs’, experiencing great popularity with Charles I. Through the catalogue of Abraham van der Doort, Keeper for the royal collection, we know that by this point Gibson was actively painting, for the former recounts the artist copying ‘the Picture of Adonis Venus Cupid and some doggs by Peter Oliver after Titian’. Following Pembroke’s death, Gibson attached himself to Charles, 2nd Earl of Carnarvon, Pembroke’s grandson, and throughout the Interregnum painted many people of that circle including Lady Elizabeth Dormer [V&A] and Elizabeth, Countess of Carnarvon [Scottish National Portrait Gallery; exhibited at Philip Mould & Co ‘Warts and All’ 2013 no.37].

The present work is datable to later in Gibson’s career and after the Restoration of Charles II as king. By the 1670s, the favourite court painter in oil was Sir Peter Lely, and here Gibson has recreated in little the sensuous brushwork of Lely’s oil portraits and also employed his favourite colour combination of brown and blue drapery.

Gibson was tremendously successful as a miniaturist and by the late 1660’s he changed his signature from ‘DG’, for ‘Dwarf’ or maybe ‘Dick’ to ‘RG’ for Richard, a pertinent display of his new status. After Cooper’s death Gibson was pronounced the King’s Limner, however one year later was succeeded by Nicholas Dixon.

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500 Years of British Art