This portrait is a late work by Johann Closterman, and was painted c.1705-10 when he was sometimes working in collaboration with his brother Johann Baptiste Closterman (d.1713 or later). This composition, with the subject standing in an open landscape holding a flintlock shotgun was clearly favoured by the Clostermans; Johann first appears to have introduced it earlier in the mid-1680s when he painted John Poulett, 1st Earl Poulett (c.1668-1743) [Paul Mellon Collection, Yale Center for British Art. This iconographical device is characteristic of both brothers, and is not found in the work of the two other leading portrait painters of the day, Michael Dahl and Sir Godfrey Kneller. Closterman (anglicised from ‘Kloosterman’) was born in Germany and is thought to have arrived in England in 1681, following the death of court painter Sir Peter Lely. Soon after his arrival Closterman was employed by John Riley as a drapery painter, although the existence of signed works by both artists during the...

Read more

This portrait is a late work by Johann Closterman, and was painted c.1705-10 when he was sometimes working in collaboration with his brother Johann Baptiste Closterman (d.1713 or later). This composition, with the subject standing in an open landscape holding a flintlock shotgun was clearly favoured by the Clostermans; Johann first appears to have introduced it earlier in the mid-1680s when he painted John Poulett, 1st Earl Poulett (c.1668-1743) [Paul Mellon Collection, Yale Center for British Art. This iconographical device is characteristic of both brothers, and is not found in the work of the two other leading portrait painters of the day, Michael Dahl and Sir Godfrey Kneller.

Closterman (anglicised from ‘Kloosterman’) was born in Germany and is thought to have arrived in England in 1681, following the death of court painter Sir Peter Lely. Soon after his arrival Closterman was employed by John Riley as a drapery painter, although the existence of signed works by both artists during the 1680s suggests they also worked independently.

The demand for Closterman’s work soared following the death of Riley in 1691, pushing him further into the higher echelons of society, and by the late 1690s he appears to have enjoyed a position amongst the most distinguished literary and artistic circles.

By November 1698 Closterman was in Spain where he was patronised by the Spanish court and painted full-length portraits of Carlos II and Maria Ana of Neuberg. As is frequently seen throughout the history of travelling artists, Closterman, whilst looking for patronage, also acted as an agent for wealthy English collectors and did much to encourage the collecting of Old Master drawings in England at this time.

After his return and up until his death in 1711, Closterman maintained a successful portrait painting practice and employed at least one assistant, and although in competition with great painters like Sir Godfrey Kneller and Jonathan Richardson, he seems to have sustained an illustrious lifestyle. Closterman died in May 1711, not long after being robbed of his valuables by a devious mistress, an event which supposedly drove him to madness.

Receive information about exhibitions, news & events.

We will process the personal data you have supplied in accordance with our privacy policy. You can unsubscribe or change your preferences at any time by clicking the link in any emails.
Close

Basket

No items found
Close

Your saved list

This list allows you to enquire about a group of works.
No items found
Close
Mailing list signup

Get exclusive updates from Philip Mould Gallery

Close

Sign up for updates

Artwork enquiry

Receive newsletters

In order to respond to your enquiry, we will process the personal data you have supplied in accordance with our privacy policy. You can unsubscribe or change your preferences at any time by clicking the link in any emails.

Close
Search
Close
Close
500 Years of British Art