Dobson painting Ashdown House

This picture hangs in Ashdown House near Newbury and shows a group of royalists enjoying a drink. The guy on the right has been identified as Prince Rupert, but there is some uncertainty about the other two. On the Number One London blog, there is a discussion about this painting. It is unfinished, but  you can pick out some nice costume details. Rupert wears, for him quite a simple braided doublet and a very plain falling band, perhaps indicating that the three guys are on campaign, although the hat on his knee is covered with ribbons that match the hanging drapery. Notice his doublet is virtually unbuttoned and his band is tucked inside, not falling over the collar. The man in the middle also wears a plain unadorned doublet. Possibly the decoration is yet to be added along with the glass on the table to contain the wine that has been poured, but here is a picture of a plain 1640s doublet. The guy on the left is the least finished of the three but obviously wuold have been more richly dressed with laced band and sleeve seams open to show his shirt. It’s a shame Dobson didn’t finish the scarlet cloak thrown on a chair in the left foreground. It looks rather splendid even unfinished.

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4 Comments to “Dobson painting Ashdown House”

  1. I fear you have got the identities wrong. Rupert was 6 foot 6, so I should imagine that he’s the fellow on the left. Plus the caption says, quite clearly, Rupert, Maurice (Rupert’s brother) and the Duke of Richmond, so I would name them in that order from left to right.

  2. Hi Steve, you are probably correct about Rupert being the one on the left, it does look like him, though there are questions about the identity of the other two. Check out the blog I linked to in this post for a further discussion

  3. Rupert is without doubt the one on the left, in the middle is Colonel William Murray and the seated figure is almost certainly Colonel John Russell (See Malcolm Rogers’ Dobson catalogue for the 1983 National Portrait Gallery exhibition for a detailed study of the original). Rogers argues that the inscription is wrong and from a later date, and indeed the middle figure looks nothing like Dobson’s separate portrait of Maurice, who was quite similiar in colouring and features to Rupert. I’ve seen no convincing arguments to date that disprove these attributions with any confidence.

    I’ve seen the Ashdown House version and it’s HUGE! Wonderful to be able to see a Dobson so close and in a non-gallery setting.:D

  4. In the version acquired by the Ashmolean this year, the central figure is (tenatively) identified as Colonel William Legge, Governor of Oxford. See:

    http://www.ashmolean.org/news/?id=435

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