ATTRIBUTED TO MICHAEL DAHL (STOCKHOLM 1659-1743 LONDON)
Portrait of Anne Blackall (née Dilingham)
oil on canvas, oval
76.2 x 63.5 cm (30 x 25 in)
The sitter, c.1697;
By descent through the family to the present owner.
Anne Dillingham (died 1762) was married to Offspring Blackall (1655-1716) around 1697. Her husband was later to become Bishop of Exeter and Clerk of the Closet of Queen Anne. As the bishop’s wife, Anne Blackall was socially well placed to have her portrait painted by one of the most fashionable artists of the time. Indeed, her husband had his likeness painted by Dahl and the painting installed in the episcopal palace in Exeter. She is depicted as a paragon of late seventeenth-century style, wearing an elegant blue and white dress draped with an amber-coloured shawl, her hair is raised but unrestricted as locks fall around and behind her neck and shoulders. Her wealth and standing are ever-so subtlety indicated by the diamond brooch atop her bodice and the diamond button on her sleeve, both jewels more revealed than concealed with the little folds of drapery gently, but strategically covering part of them.
The present lot, which can be attributed to Dahl on stylistic grounds and on the circumstantial evidence of her husband having been portrayed by the artist, has remained in the sitter’s family to the present day.
Estimated at £5,000 - £7,000