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A Gentleman, believed to be William Congreve (1670-1729) dramatist and poet


Artist: Charles Boit

Wearing a mauve coloured coat, white jabot and full-bottomed powdered wig
enamel on copper, signed on the reverse C. Boit pinxt, set in a gilt -metal frame with twisted rope border

The sitter bears a strong resemblance to known portraits by Kneller of Congreve in particular the long thin nose and dimple in the chin. As well as producing works which represent the height of Restoration comedy,William became sec. of Jamaica from 1714-1723.

Provenance: Christie's, 11 May 1994 to an American Collector
Bonhams, 21 November 2007 to Richard Baron Cohen

Boit first travelled to England in 1687. According to a story retold in the Anecdotes of Painting in England of Horace Walpole, based on the notes of George Vertue, he 'engaged one of the scholars, a gentleman's daughter, to marry him, but the affair being discovered, Boit was thrown into prison'. Boit remained in confinement for two years. Once free, he was able to establish himself as an enameller in London, aided by the popular Swedish-born portrait painter Michael Dahl, to whom he probably owed a large part of his immediate and considerable success as a painter of miniature portraits. Boit was appointed court enameller to William III in March 1696
More Information
Year                 circa 1710
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