Charles Jervas

Ireland, b.1675, d.1739

Elisabeth, Lady Oxendon, Daughter of Edmd Dunch

  • Oil on canvas
  • Purchased, 1978
  • 950 x 840 x 50mm
  • 79/290

Lady Elisabeth Oxenden (1694 -1775) was the wife of Sir George Oxenden (1694 -1775), Lord of the Admiralty and the Member of Parliament for Sandwich. It is likely the baby is their eldest son, Henry, born in 1721. Charles Jervas was the leading portraitist of his day and many of his subjects were from the highest ranks of English society. Typical of Jervas’ work, the faces in this painting have been painted with careful attention to detail. The drapery and clothing have been painted with less care, allowing the mother and child to be the main focus. Born in Ireland, Jervas was well-educated and entered the studio of Sir Godfrey Kneller (c.1649-1723) in London as an apprentice in 1694 to 1695. In 1703 Jervas settled in Rome where he studied and made copies of the Old Masters, particularly the works of Titian (c.1487-1576). He returned to London in 1708. Jervas’ reputation was confirmed when he succeeded Kneller as Principal Painter to King George I in 1723.