View full screen - View 1 of Lot 38. Portrait of Jane Monins (c.1640-99), three-quarter length, in a blue and gold dress.
38

John Michael Wright

Portrait of Jane Monins (c.1640-99), three-quarter length, in a blue and gold dress

UK: Greenford Park Warehouse

Estimate:

60,000

to
- 80,000 GBP

John Michael Wright

John Michael Wright

Portrait of Jane Monins (c.1640-99), three-quarter length, in a blue and gold dress

Portrait of Jane Monins (c.1640-99), three-quarter length, in a blue and gold dress

Estimate:

60,000

to
- 80,000 GBP

Lot sold:

176,400

GBP

John Michael Wright

London 1617 - 1694

Portrait of Jane Monins (c.1640-99), three-quarter length, in a blue and gold dress


later inscribed upper right: Jane Monins. Wife of Sir John / Knatchbull. Bart ob. 1699.

oil on canvas, in a Sunderland carved wood frame

125.7 x 102.8 cm.

The canvas is lined, and the paint surface is slightly dirty with a very slightly discoloured varnish. There are two vertical scuff marks in the bottom of her dress (visible in the catalogue illustration). Inspection under ultraviolet light reveals a thick and milky varnish, making it difficult to discern intervention. Very few and tiny spots of retouchings are visible in the background and sparsely scattered in her flesh tones. Otherwise the painting appears free of intervention and in very good overall condition.


"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. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.

NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."

Please note this lot will be sent to our warehouse following the auction.
Inventory, 1749, in the hall;
Inventory, 1849, p. 6, in the 'Lilac Dressing Room';
Catalogue of Portraits, 1920, no. 33;
H. Avray Tipping, 'Mersham le Hatch', Country Life, 8 August 1925, photographed in the hall, p. 219;
H. Avray Tipping, English Homes, Late Georgian, 1760-1820, London 1926, p. 124;
C. Hussey, English Country Houses, Mid Georgian 1760-1800, London 1984, p. 100;
Sir H. Knatchbull-Hugessen, Kentish Family, London 1960, p. 56, reproduced opposite p. 58;
S. Stevenson and D. Thomson, John Michael Wright, The King's Painter, exh. cat., Edinburgh 1982, p. 77, cat. no. 23, reproduced p. 76.
Edinburgh, Scottish National Portrait Gallery, John Michael Wright, The King's Painter, 16 July - 19 September 1982, no. 23.

This beautiful portrait was painted in 1670, and payment for it appears in Sir John’s account book for that year: ’to Mr Wright for my wife’s picture in full £15.00.’ Wright was an unexpected choice for Knatchbull, as the artist was a catholic whilst Knatchbull had known anti-papist sentiments. However, though Lely was becoming well-established at Charles II’s court, Wright had also received significant royal patronage. Moreover in 1670 he was chosen by the Aldermen of the City of London to paint a series of 22 portraits of the judges who had been responsible for sorting out the problems resulting from the Great Fire of London of 1666. This no doubt encouraged Knatchbull to commission this portrait of his wife, and one of himself in armour (private collection).


When this portrait was shown in the seminal exhibition of Wright's work in Edinburgh in 1982 the compilers commented that it was 'one of the most sensitive of all Wright’s female portraits.' Certainly it has a delicacy and sensitivity not always found in Lely’s more flamboyant female portraits, and marks a change in Wright’s style with a smoother and softer treatment of the sitter’s flesh.


Jane Monins was the daughter and co-heir of Sir Edward Monins, 2nd Bt. and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Thomas Styles, Bt. of Wateringbury, near Maidstone. The Monins family came from East Kent and Jane’s branch lived at Waldershare near Dover. At the age of nineteen, on 17th January 1659, she married Sir John Knatchbull, 2nd Bt., who served as M.P. for New Romney in 1660, and then following his father’s death represented Kent from 1685-87, and after William III’s accession from 1689-95. Her husband played a leading role in Kent as a staunch supporter of William III, and his diary gives a vivid account of that turbulent period.


The Knatchbulls had three sons and nine daughters. The sons all died young, but three daughters survived - Eleanor married Roger West of Marsworth, Jane married firstly Sir George Herbert Bt. of Kings County and secondly Richard Whitshed of Dublin, and Elizabeth married a son of Sir Peter Lely.