Portrait of a Royalist Cavalry Officer

From the Bridgeman Art Library (hence the watermark). I can see no reason why this has been labelled as Royalist or cavalry, but there you are. It is undated, though to my eye, the clothes and the style of the portrait set it firmly in the Civil War period. The picture is in private hands somewhere and is  © Lawrence Steigrad Fine Arts, New York.

The officer is staring out of the picture quite nonchalantly and is standing defiantly foursquare in his buff coat and breeches. He looks like he’d rather be off out than stay indoors having his portrait painted.

The perfectly white sleeves of his doublet contrast with the black of his breeches and are brocaded (or perhaps embroidered) in an intricate pattern whilst his buff leather coat is also extravagantly laced at the front. His falling band is edged in a wide band of lace, though his cuffs don’t actually match, being ruffled but not edged with lace. Note also the line of buttons down the side of his breeches and around the bottom edge too. His boots are lined with red leather and the boothose edged with lace, though again not the same pattern as his band, which is either sloppy dressing or indicates that as a soldier he didn’t care too much! He is wearing spurs to indicate that he is off to ride a horse, though not necessarily in a cavalry regiment. His baldric and sword seem to be quite plain and businesslike which suggests that they have seen action.

 

Portrait of a Royalist Cavalry Officer, c.1640 (oil on copper), English School, (17th century) : Private Collection

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