Photo credit: Deal Town Council
Based on the attached files, do you have any suggestions for the queries below?
Does the painting in the Town Hall depict Sir Edward Ward or another Judge?
There is a discrepancy in the dates, so is the artist Thomas Hudson, or another artist with the same surname?
Is the source of the attribution for the artist known?
Could the portrait be a copy based on the engraving ‘Sir Edward Ward’ after Kneller by Robert White [NPG D37482] c.1702? This sitter has a fuller face: https://bit.ly/3bFKDGd
The reversed image of the Kneller portrait gives greater similarity [see attachment].
Why is the painting in the Town Hall? Could it be because Sir Edward Ward was Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer (1695–1714), when William III granted the Town Charter to Deal in 1699?
Deal Town Council has sent these images of the back of the painting and comments:
‘Can anyone confirm that this portrait does depict Lord Chief Justice Ward or if not, name the subject and identify the attributed artist please? There is a plaque attached to the frame “Lord Chief Justice Ward”, but no signature of the artist.
The eyebrows in the two pictures have the same, distinctive shapes.
Here is Sir Edward Ward (1638–1714) in Wikipedia:
Hmmm, the forum software is breaking Wikipedia links with parentheses; try this: https://w.wiki/LgV
BTW, by "two pictures", I mean the painting at hand, and the NPG engraving.
The similarities between this portrait and the engraving are striking, note the shape of the eyebrow for example. It is true that the face in the engraving bears little similarity to the 3/4 length portrait by Kneller (see https://www.bada.org/object/portrait-sir-edward-ward-chief-baron-sir-godfrey-kneller-and-studio, the original may be in Harvard Law School) but this is not unusual as it may be based on a different portrait or on an intermediary version. I think the similarity to the engraving alone justifies an identification to Sir Edward Ward, and the attribution to 'after Godfrey Kneller'.
The connection to Deal (of ay) remains to be discivered.)
Surely the same sitter - the kinky left eyebrow would be hard to invent if not depicted in the original! Detail is close to the engraving; looks as if it is a later copy from the engraving; is the original Kneller extant?
It is a relatively crude copy, not even "studio of" Kneller, and possibly quite late. It is evidently after the print, since the image is also inverted, and the serpiginous eyebrow is also from the print, not the painted versions.
In addition, the use of the feigned oval framing device comes from the print, not Kneller's original, which was a 3/4 length portrait.
It states in Wikipedia that the engraver Robert White copied portraits painted by Lely, Kneller, Riley, and Beale. his engraving is date 1702 it appears, on Wikipedia. A Problem might be that the sitter is over 42 yrs old, which would eliminate either Lely or Kneller as the painter, as both died in 1680.
Lely died in 1680, but Kneller died in 1723. The original picture was probably painted in the 1690s.
There are, however, a distressing number of pictures spuriously associated with Lely on Art UK which clearly look like c. 1700 (if not later), but I suppose it helps to sell the merchandise.