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Double Portrait Of Sir John Rivers 3rd Baronet Of Chafford, And His Wife, Lady Anne Rivers, Beside A Fountain C.1662; Sir Peter Lely (1618-1680) And Studio, Oil On Canvas Painting


£36,250 | $45,207 USD | €41,133 EUR
Item Number: SA995443
Date of manufacture: 17th Century
Current Status: For sale
Seller: Titan Fine Art
This antique has been viewed 41 times in the past month with the most views from Belgium.


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This magnificent grand-scale work formed part of a collection of family pictures and heirlooms of the Rivers Baronets and their descendants for over 325 years, before it was dispersed by the last in the line in 1988. The work was painted by the most technically proficient painter in England after the death of Van Dyck, and the dominant court painter to Charles II and James, Duke of York, Sir Peter Lely. It is no surprise that for years Lely had no serious rivals, was enormously influential and successful, and one of the country’s most important painters – and his work influenced countless artists over generations. The exquisite carved and gilded auricular frame is an astounding work of art in itself.
The sitters in this exquisite double portrait are Sir John Rivers, who succeeded as the 3rd Baronet Chafford in 1657 (c.1638 - c.?1679), and his wife, Lady Anne Hewitt (c.1640-c.1689). They are seated in an outdoor setting beside a fountain modelled as a female figure with water issuing into a scallop-shell. The water, the elaborate sculpted fountain with its scallop-edged bowl, and the open shell in her hand are symbols of fertility - as such they make an appropriate allusion to Lady Anne’s potential as wife and mother, recalling Proverbs, chapter 5, verse 18: “Let thye fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of thye youth”. This reference was realised, as Sir John and Lady Anne produced at least six children; their son George (1665-1734) became 4th Baronet of Chafford. The composition, thus, represents a celebration of marriage and was likely commissioned around the time of the betrothal (the marriage took place 26th Feb 1662 or 1663). The statues in the left margin are 'Youth and 'Old Age' and are a typical form of Memento Mori reminding virile young man that even they will lose their youth and grow old.
The Rivers family, originally of Kent, traces its history to Sir Bartholomew Rivers, in the reign of Edward IV. The Chafford estate was the family seat and it remained so until the early 1700s. The Rivers' estate descended to Katherine Eleonora Rivers Fryer (1889-1963) of Worthy House (where our portrait hung until 1958) and then to her only son, Charles Bruce Rivers Butchart (1917-2005), who sold it upon his retirement in 1988, thus ending over 325 years of continual family ownership.
Lady Anne Rivers is thought to have been born circa 1640. She was the fourth child of the second marriage of Sir Thomas Hewitt (or Hewett) (1606-1662), 1st Baronet of Pishobury, Herts, and his wife Margaret Lytton (died 1689).
The portrait, with its scale, rich colour, its exquisite draperies, and romantic setting, is an exquisite work of art - and the double portrait format, of this quality, rarely appears on the market.
Peter Lely, the son of a Dutch military officer, was born in Germany at Soest in Westphalia in 1618. He studied in Haarlem before moving to London in 1641. By the end of the Commonwealth he had became the best known portraitist in England and Principle Painter to the King. His success thus meant that he established the basic English portrait style for decades.

From the sitters and by descent through the Rivers family,
On loan to Southampton Museum and Art Gallery circa 1958-1988,
Sold Dreweatts 19 Oct 1988,
Sold Gorringes 7 & 8 Sept 2004 [Lot 1114], sold for £38,000,
Private collection west England
Much more info about this item can be found at: www.titanfineartcom.
All of our paintings are in very good condition having passed strict quality and condition assessments by one of our professional conservators.
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This item is antique. The date of manufacture has been declared as 17th Century.


Height = 178 cm (70.1")
Width = 209 cm (82.3")
Depth = 15 cm (5.9")

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United Kingdom

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