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Kansas City Collections: Art, Antiques, & Jewelry

Sat, Oct 28, 2023 11:00AM EDT
Lot 98

Oil Portrait of Sir John Spottiswoode III (1594-1675)

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A 17th century oil portrait on canvas of a gentleman identified as Sir John Spottiswoode, son of the archbishop and grandson of the Scottish reformer, each of the same name. The canvas measures 34 3/4" x 29 1/2", and it is housed in a frame that measures 37 1/4" x 31 1/2".


John Leighton's History of the County of Fife (1840) gives some context on Sir John Spottiswoode III and his son: "The archbishop's eldest son Sir John Spottiswoode succeeded to the estate of Dairsie, and was one of the gentlemen of the bed-chamber to James VI. His only son Mr. John Spottiswoode was a firm adherent of Charles I. He was a young man of great talent and bravery, and having joined Montrose was taken with him, tried, condemned, and executed for high treason in 1650."


The painting has undergone extensive restoration. From the reverse, there are four canvas patches to repair various punctures, as well as other reinforcements including canvas strip lining at the edges of the strainer. Notes from a 2010 restoration are affixed to the reverse: that procedure included cleaning and removing some over-painting. Over-painting still remains across areas of the canvas, but limited largely to the darker areas of the clothing and environment and not to the likeness of the subject. Retouching to the subject's lace collar.

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From the collection of a descendant of the Spottiswoode family.