follower of Michael Dahl, Charles Townshend, 2nd Viscount Townshend (1675–1738)

Photo courtesy of Tom St Aubyn (All rights reserved)


Country House
Raynham Hall
Charles Townshend, 2nd Viscount Townshend (1675–1738)
The King's Bedroom
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
Overall height: 74 cm, Overall width: 62 cm
follower of Michael Dahl (1659-1743)
Catalogue Number


This portrait is of Charles Townshend, 2nd Viscount Townshend (1675–1738), an identification supported by the depiction of his gently arched eyebrows, long nose and dimpled chin. These features conform to those in other portraits of the sitter including Godfrey Kneller’s portrait of c.1704 showing Charles in his coronation robes in the National Portrait Gallery (NPG 3623) and another in the same collection, dating to c.1724, and attributed to Charles Jervas (NPG 1755).

The portrait is set within a feigned oval and the paint has been abraded in all four corners of the canvas probably by contact with the spandrels of a previous frame. The paint has been applied with broad brush-strokes and lacks the more sensitive modelling of Dahl’s portraits but the composition and manner in which the wig and necktie have been portrayed is reminiscent of the Swedish artist’s work. These include his portraits of Bainbrigg Buckeridge dating to 1696 (NPG 6521) and another of Sir George Rooke attributed to the studio of Dahl (NPG 1992). The sitter’s dress is typical of men’s fashion around 1700, as these comparative works demonstrate.

by Emily Knight

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