CIRCLE OF JOHN MICHAEL WRIGHT (LONDON 1617-1694)
Portrait of George Monck (1608-1670), 1st Duke of Albemarle, three-quarter-length, in armour, a landscape with Charles II landing at Dover in 1660 beyond
inscribed ‘GIORGIO MONK [sic] DUCA DI ALBERMALE [sic] CAPITAN GENERALE / DEL REGNO D’INGHILTERRA, E DUE VOLTE AMMIRAGLIO DEL M’ (along the top edge)
oil on canvas, unframed
49 5/8 x 40 3/8 in. (126 x 102.5 cm.)
This portrait celebrates the key role that Monck played in the Restoration Settlement in 1660 that led to the return of Charles II to Great Britain, which undoubtedly marked the very height of Monck’s distinguished career. Monck had skilfully masterminded the agreement between Parliament the exiled Stuart court. He was ideally positioned to negotiate a peaceful change of power; he was a member of the council of state and commander-in-chief of all military units in Britain. In return, Monck was created Baron Monck of Potheridge, Beauchamp, and Teyes, Earl of Torrington and Duke of Albemarle. He was also made Master of the Horse in the restored Royal Court and presented with the insignia of the Garter by the King himself. The prime version of this particular composition is in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence. Two further portraits by Wright of Monck, which differ in composition from the present lot, exist. One of which appeared on the art market in 2009, formerly at Powderham Castle, and the other currently at Longleat House.