Wiliam Wissing (1656-1687)
The Honourable Francis and Henry Lennard
Circa. 1675, inscribed lower right, Oil on Canvas 155 x 163 cm (unframed)
Sold to a Private Collector UK
A notable work by an eminent 17th Century artist, this large painting is amongst Wissing's most engaging and consulate works. It belongs to an exclusive group of Restoration double portraits, and shows the Lennard brothers, younger sons of Francis, 14th Lord Dacre (1619-1692). The painting has been previously attributed to Sir Peter Lely.
The Dacre family were regular sitters for the leading artists of the day from 1660's onwards. A well known double portrait by Lely of the 14th Lord Dacre and his wife, the Countess of Sheppey, now in private hands, dates from around 1660. Francis Lennard, succeeded to the title of 14th Lord Dacre in 1630.He was educated at Merton College, Oxford, and a Member of Parliament fro Sussex in 1654. The family at that time had Herstmonceaux in Sussex in 1654 as their primary residence, while holding a portfolio of estates including Cheapening, Kent and Belhus, from whence this painting came, as well as significant houses in London.
William Wissing, was initially a Dutch portrait painter who settled in England in 1670's where he became associated with Sir Peter Lely. His reputation was extensive in his own lifetime, with a number of his royal works being put into print. '(Wissing) became the painter in vogue, especially among the ladies. He is said to have always caught the beautiful likeness; and if any of the sex who sat to him had too much paleness in her countenance, which is frequently the effect of long sitting, he took her by the hand, and danced her about the room, to add life and spirt to her beauty'. James Granger, early 18th Century biographer.