A 17th century commander called George Monck, Duke of Albemarle (1608-1670) by Nicholas Dixon

A 17th century commander called George Monck, Duke of Albemarle (1608-1670)

Nicholas Dixon

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A 17th century commander called George Monck, Duke of Albemarle (1608-1670) by Nicholas Dixon zoom

A 17th century commander called George Monck, Duke of Albemarle (1608-1670)

An oval miniature in a gilt metal oval display frame with a suspension ring and a scroll label below engraved, in black letter, 'GENERAL MONK / BY DIXON' . The frame has a flat back with a foliate frieze similar to that round the front, and a rosette engraved in the centre. The sitter is shown bust-length, turned to his left but looking to the viewer, in armour, with a white cravat secured by a thin black ribbon. He has brown eyes and wears what is probably a copious full-bottomed wig, loosely brushed and curled at the bottom. The image is inscribed with the artist's initial 'D' in the dark right background. Though originally a Royalist, Monck became one of the most important Parliamentary land commanders of the Civil War, before again turning with the tide after Cromwell's death and (as army commander), being a key figure in the Restoration of Charles II, who ennobled him and for whom he also fought successfully at sea. However, despite the frame label, this image was discredited as being of Monck by 1917. It is certainly by Dixon but if of Monck, whom it does not sufficiently resemble, would also have had to show a much older man given Dixon's working period. It is therefore rather a mystery why the Museum acquired it as Monck and has retained that identification, other than through wishful thinking. Dixon is a mysterious figure who was born about 1645 and died sometime between 1708 and 1720. There are strong grounds to believe he was trained by Samuel Cooper, whose style his own closely resembles at its best, as here, and he became King's 'lymner' from 1673 to 1678, succeeding Richard Gibson and succeeded by Peter Cross.
Nicholas Dixon

  • Image reference: F9537-002

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