Matthew Snelling – Lady in a Red Dress

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A Lady in red dress slashed to reveal a white pearl necklace and earings, landscape background with castle. Watercolour on card, displayed in a gilt metal frame with pierced spiral cresting, oval.


The castle in the background can be found in another example by Snelling in the Victoria & Albert Museum, (Alan Evans Collection), dated 1663 (cf. Graham Reynolds, English Portrait Miniatures, 1988, p. 73, fig. 39).


Snelling, Matthew (1621-1678)

Baptised at King's Lynn, 14 October 1621. He was evidently well known to the important artists of his day, including Samuel Cooper (q.v.) who is recorded as having painted his portrait in chalk in 1644. Snelling worked as a portrait miniature painter in London from c. 1647-c. 1670. He also knew Charles and Mary Beale (q.v.) who had a wide circle of friends. Snelling worked slightly in the Manner of Hoskins (q.v.), but did not succeed in attaining anything like his merit. He was said to be by Vertue to have been a gentleman and seldom painted unless for Ladies with whom he was a mighty favorite and a gallant'; also that he contrived or furthered the match between the Duke of Norfolk and his second lady, who was the mother of George and Frederick Howard'. Snelling's miniatures were not, as has been stated, all of ladies; some were after the works of other artists such as Van Dyck. His works can be found in the Victoria and Albert Museum.