Portraits: British 16th and 17th C 5 Is this portrait of Prince Rupert of the Rhine a studio copy, or could it be by Peter Lely?

HSW_WMAG_Temp40
Topic: Artist

Darkened varnish makes it difficult to discern the status of this portrait but the model is definitely after Lely. There are at least four other versions on Art UK.

Studio of Peter Lely, ‘Prince Rupert, Count Palatine’, c.1670 (National Portrait Gallery, London) https://bit.ly/2QdL8Af

Peter Lely, ‘Prince Rupert of the Rhine (1616–1682)’ (National Trust, Hartwell House) https://bit.ly/2TxjBsw

Peter Lely, ‘Prince Rupert (1619–1682), 1st Duke of Cumberland and Count Palatine of the Rhine’, c.1665 (National Maritime Museum) https://bit.ly/2OVsmsE

After Peter Lely, ‘Prince Rupert of the Rhine (1619–1682), KG, in Garter Robes’, before 1684 (National Trust, Chirk Castle) https://bit.ly/2R0epvu

Art UK adds:
Peter Harrison enquired about this painting on 18 September 2018: ‘Is this the original to Sir Peter Lely's known studio copies of the same composition, of which there are examples in the National Portrait Gallery and within a private collection?’

The collection comments: ‘The crest in the top left corner means that it is part of the Bowles Collection which came to Worcester in 1850 and is mostly portraits. On the reverse these paintings originally had a pasted slip saying, ‘Presented to the Worcestershire Natural History Society through their President Sir Charles Hastings (illegible) by George Downing Bowles, clerk m. a. (illegible) of the Shrubbery, Great Malvern, Oct. 1st 1850’.

Al Brown, Entry reviewed by Art UK

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5 comments

Nicholas Boles,

This is not my family line, but I have details of Rev. George Downing Bowles (d 1863), who descends from Charles Bowles of Chatham, High Sheriff of Kent in 1658. He donated 26 "fine old oil paintings" to the museum in 1850. The right hand arms are those of his mother Anne, daughter of Rev. James Stillingfleet, Presbyter of Worcester. The left hand arms are Bowles, quartered with Draper. The crest is Bowles, the motto I don't recognise. The Stillingfleets would be my first line of investigation into provenance, as they had a long connection with Worcester. I hope this is helpful.

This is one for Catherine Macleod and/or Diana Dethloff as current cataloguers of Lely; but, unless its status is immediately clear, its an interesting case of how Art UK might advance from an 'unknown artist' description when it clearly is broadly 'Lely' but hard to be sure if by him, from his studio, or just 'after'

Peter Harrison 01,

I’m sure the coat of arms in the upper corner is a later addition and may well have been painted upon aquasition much later. Although the photo is some what difficult to tell there definitely appear to be some passages within this work that ring true to Lely himself.

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