Historical Portraits Picture Archive

Portrait of John Cholmeley (d.1768) 1736

Enoch Seeman 

Portrait of John Cholmeley (d.1768), Enoch Seeman
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Oil on canvas
18th Century
50 x 40 inches 127 x 101.2 cm
 
Provenance:
By descent within the Cholmeley family; Sir Hugh Cholmeley 5th Bt
Enoch Seeman was brought to London when very young by his father, a painter of the same name from Danzig. Seeman junior set up his practice in the artistís district of St Martin's Lane where he enjoyed early success as a portraitist. As early as 1717, for example, he executed full-length portrait of George I (Middle Temple).

Seemanís poses and characterisation employ a standard repertoire and his style is distinctive and recognisable, both in facial type and bold colouring. Wisely Seeman charged significantly less than his more expensive contemporaries - at twenty guineas for a full-length in 1732 he cost roughly half of what many painters were charging for such a canvas during the same period. He maintained royal patronage as well as that of the nobility and gentry, and painted George II and Queen Caroline, the latter picture now being in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery.
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