Historical Portraits Picture Archive

Portrait of Edward Hyde Earl of Clarendon (1609 – 1674) 1655c

Adriaen Hannemann 

Portrait of Edward Hyde Earl of Clarendon (1609 – 1674), Adriaen Hannemann
Oil on canvas
17th Century
92.5 x 4 cm 36 ½ x 29 inches
Collection of Lord Newborough, Bodvean Hall, Carnaervonshire; By descent to Mrs E. Broughton Adderley; London.
David Piper, Catalogue of Seventeenth Century Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery, p. 71 (Cambridge 1963) O. ter Kuile, Adriaen Hanneman, 1976, no.34a,. p.86, ill no.50 Robin Gibson, Catalogue of Portraits in the Collection of the Earl of Clarendon, Paul Mellon Centre, 1977, p.27
Tercentenary Exhibition North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh NC March 23rd – April 28th 1963
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Of the three principal versions of this portrait, Ter Kuile in his catalogue raisonne considered this example ‘the best’, and reinforced the earlier judgement of David Piper that it was the only one of those portraits that should be considered the original. It was painted during Hyde’s exile in the Netherlands, most probably c.1655 when it is known that Anne Hyde, the sitter’s daughter, was painted by the artist. Hannemann, a former pupil of Sir Anthony van Dyck was much patronised by the Royalist court in exile at The Hague. In 1649 he had painted the young King Charles II, and was commissioned by Hyde at about the date of the present portrait to paint the King’s sister Mary Princess of Orange (Clarendon Collection).

The career of Edward Hyde Earl of Clarendon was from its inception inextricably linked with the fortunes of his two royal masters, Charles I and Charles II. He was a committed royalist, and by 1641 was the leader of the Royalist party in the Commons, later becoming Chancellor of the Exchequer. However, the collapse of the Royalist cause in the Civil War forced him to flee to Jersey, where he began his “History of the Rebellion”, the work that ensured his reputation as a historian as well as transmitting the royalist cause to posterity.

In 1648 hyde joined the Prince of Wales at the Hague, and in 1651 was recognised as Charles II’s principal counsellor. His advice to the exiled King – essentially to pursue a course of patient opportunism – established him as the architect of the Restoration, and as a reward he was created Earl of Clarendon. In 1660 his daughter Anne married James, Duke of York. His legacy remains prodigious – both his granddaughters Mary and Anne, the children of the Duke and Duchess of York, became Queen of England.
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