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John Locke – Portrait after Sir Godfrey Kneller

Oil on canvas, unsigned, 75 x 62 cm, in contemporary gilt frame, painting lettered 'Mr. Lock / OB; 1704; ÆT; 72', paper label on the back with name Lt.-Col. J. Dundas [James Colin Dundas, d.1966].

Early eighteenth-century copy of the famous portrait of John Locke by Sir Godfrey Kneller (1646-1723) for which Locke sat towards the end of his life. The original painting, dated 1697, is in the Hermitage museum, St Petersburg. Two other versions by Kneller are at Locke’s old college, Christ Church, Oxford and at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond.

This copy was probably painted during the first quarter of the eighteenth century, since from the 1720s onwards Locke’s name was usually spelled with the final ‘e’. Another portrait of Locke after Kneller (1704) hangs in the National Portrait Gallery, London.

Provenance: from Ochtertyre House, Scotland, inherited by a member of the Dundas family from John Ramsay of Ochtertyre in the early nineteenth century.

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