- Cornelius Johnson, British, 1593-1661
Portrait of a Gentleman, probably James Howell, 1634
Oil paint on canvas
Signed with initials and dated at lower left, C.J. fecit. / 1634; inscribed at upper left, Cupias quodcunque necesse est
Promised Gift of the Berger Collection Educational Trust, TL-19849
One of the most prolific portraitists in London in 1620s and ‘30s, Cornelius Johnson worked in an elegant, somewhat conservative style, his compositions simple and unadorned and the details of his sitters’ features and dress closely observed. His subject here is thought to be James Howell (1594?-1666), who wrote numerous historical and political pamphlets and held diplomatic and administrative posts under Charles I. Johnson’s restrained style moderated with Sir Anthony van Dyck’s arrival in England in 1632, becoming more naturalistic, as here, with the inclusion of his subject’s right hand, an addition that enhances the portrait’s lifelikeness.
- “Treasures from the Berger Collection: British Paintings 1400-2000” — Denver Art Museum, 10/2/2014 – 9/9/2018