Circa 1635 England
Attributed to Cornelius de Neve, Portrait of John, Lord Belasyse
Height 37 1/4 inches (94.75 cm)
Width 32 1/4 inches (82 cm)
Depth 2 1/2 inches (6.5 cm)
Attributed to Cornelius de Neve (circa 1612-1678)
Portrait of John, Lord Belasyse (1614-1689)
Oil on canvas; held in a period style carved polished wood frame.
Dimensions refer to framed size.
Cornelius de Neve, was born in Antwerp, possibly training under the Dutchman Mierveldt and settling in London by 1627. It has been suggested he possibly associated with Van Dyck, though his works show a strong debt to painting in England prior to his arrival, particularly John de Critz who was his stepfather.
John Belasyse was born to a Yorkshire Catholic family. A soldier and administrator, during the Civil War, he raised six regiments for the king. He was imprisoned by the Parliamentarians on four occasions and was shot in the head during one battle, but recovered and remained a loyal royalist throughout the wars and Interregnum. At the Restoration his career was frustrated by his Catholicism; he was forced to resign as Governor of Tangier, and was implicated in the alleged Popish Plot (1678) for which he was imprisoned in the Tower for six years. Following James II’s accession to the throne, Belasyse took up a position at Court and in 1686 he was appointed Private Councillor of the King and the following year, First Lord of the Treasury. From 1671 until his death he lived at Whitton near Twickenham and was visited there by Samuel Pepys, who was impressed by Belasyse’s large collection of paintings.
Probably painted around 1635 it, if nothing else, is a detailed and decorative account of what the sitter wore, the clothes being almost identical to those depicted by Gilbert Jackson in a full length portrait, long held to be Lord Belasyse. Within a year of this portrait Van Dyck also produced a masterful rendition of the young nobleman.