Nelson Rockefeller (1908-1979), New York; By whom given to the father of the present owner circa 1960; Thence by descent.
This painting relates to a portrait Kneller did for the coronation of King George I in 1714. The best known version by the artist is preserved at the National Portrait Gallery in London (fig. 1, inv. no. NPG 5174). Similar designs to the present portrait by Kneller's studio are in the Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey (inv. no. 405892), National Portrait Gallery, London (inv. no. NPG 544), and Windslor Castle, Windslor (inv. no. 404390).
The canvas appears to be lined and is stable on its stretcher. Presents a strong image beneath an old varnish that has slightly discolored. There are a few spots of paint loss and scuffing, quite possibly due to framing, along edges, for example two spots of loss in the lower right corner and one at center on left edge. There is an old stretcher bar mark faintly visible horizontally and vertically through center. An old repair tear is at lower center in the blue of his costume. Inspection under UV reveals some scattered retouches at all extreme edges. The varnish fluoresces inconsistently in areas, for example on the sitter's right hand, around his calf, and on the shadows by his chin and cheek. There appears to be an area of retouching in the background to the right of the sitter's chair. There is an old spot of retouching in the upper left background. The varnish also fluoresces quite milky under UV and is difficult to read through, though there may be some old retouching underneath. Offered in a decorative carved, gilded frame with scattered losses. In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.