Circa 1710 England

Charles Jervas, Portrait of Joseph Mellish


1 in stock

Height 36 inches (91.5 cm)
Width 30 3/4 inches (78 cm)
Depth 2 inches (5 cm)

Charles Jervas (1675-1739)

Portrait of Joseph Mellish (1675-1733)

Oil on canvas; held in a carved period frame

Dimensions refer to size of frame.

Provenance: Blyth Hall, Nottinghamshire, England; by descent to Sir Andrew Buchanan of Hodsock Priory, Nottinghamshire

In 1635 John Mellish, a merchant tailor of London, bought the estate of Blyth in Nottinghamshire. His son, a wealthy Oporto merchant, dying unmarried, left Blyth in 1703 to a cousin, Joseph Mellish, who became one of Newcastle’s earliest and most important political supporters in the county. He went up to Clare College, Cambridge in 1692 and on to the Inner Temple the following year. He married Dorothea Gore, daughter of Sir William Gore, Lord Mayor of London around 1707, a union which would have helped considerably in consolidating both the family business interests in London along with their political ambitions in the North of England. Joseph Mellish died in 1733, leaving three sons of whom the eldest, Edward, inherited Blyth, and the youngest, Joseph, was M.P. for Grimsby from 1761 to 1774.

Charles Jervas was an Irish portrait painter and translator. By the mid-1690s he was in London, where he stayed and trained with Sir Godfrey Kneller. Between 1698 and 1708 Jervas studied in Paris and Rome and acted as an agent for British art collectors. On his return to London he set up a successful portrait studio. With the help of his patron, Prime Minister Robert Walpole, Jervas secured the post of King’s painter. In this capacity he painted King George II, Queen Caroline and Prince William, Duke of Cumberland.

This portrait of Mellish was painted by Jervas around 1710. The large florid wig and the elegant, sumptuous gown compare favourably to other works by the artist from this period and is a striking example of his method of painting.


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