Bernard Lens’s Miniatures for the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough

Bernard Lens III,  Rubens, His Wife Helena Fourment, and Their Son , 1721,  New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Using Bernard Lens III’s small-scale gouache on vellum copy after Rubens, His Wife Helena Fourment, and Their Son Frans as a point of departure (both original and copy are in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York), the present article examines the English tradition of small-scale copies and the particular collecting habits of the eighteenth-century owners of Rubens’s painting, John and Sarah Jenyns Churchill, first Duke and Duchess of Marlborough. The Marlboroughs, like other prominent collectors of the era, commissioned Lens to paint miniature copies after (mostly Flemish) paintings in their collection, as well as several miniature portraits of family members. The article suggests possible motivations for these commissions and for the selection of particular works for copying.

DOI: 10.5092/jhna.2017.9.1.18

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank Katherine Baetjer, Adam Eaker, Catharine McCloud, Francis Russell and Kim Sloan for so generously sharing their time, expertise and collections; and of course Walter Liedtke, for being an enduring inspiration and for leaving one small stone unturned.

Bernard Lens III,  Rubens, His Wife Helena Fourment, and Their Son , 1721,  New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Fig. 1 Bernard Lens III, Rubens, His Wife Helena Fourment, and Their Son Frans, 1721, watercolor and bodycolor on vellum, 394 x 302 mm. New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, inv. 1984.442 (artwork in the public domain)
Peter Paul Rubens,  Rubens, His Wife Helena Fourment, and Their Son ,  ca. 1635,  New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Fig. 2 Peter Paul Rubens, Rubens, His Wife Helena Fourment, and Their Son Frans, ca. 1635, oil on wood, 203.8 x 158.1 cm. New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, inv. 1981.238 (artwork in the public domain)
Bernard Lens III,  King Charles I on Horseback, 1721,  Croft Castle, Herefordshire, Midlands (National Trust)
Fig. 4 Bernard Lens III, King Charles I on Horseback, 1721, gouache on vellum, 483 x 413 mm. Croft Castle, Herefordshire, Midlands (National Trust), inv. NT 537591 (artwork in the public domain)
Anthony van Dyck,  King Charles I on Horseback,  ca. 1638,  London, The National Gallery
Fig. 5 Anthony van Dyck, King Charles I on Horseback, ca. 1638, oil on canvas, approx. 367 x 292.1 cm. London, The National Gallery, inv. NG1172 (artwork in the public domain)
Bernard Lens III,  The Victorious Hero Takes Occasion to Conclude P, 1720,  New Haven, Yale Center for British Art
Fig. 3 Bernard Lens III, The Victorious Hero Takes Occasion to Conclude Peace, 1720, watercolor and gouache, heightened with gold, on vellum, 394 x 476 mm. New Haven, Yale Center for British Art, inv. B1982.6 (artwork in the public domain)
Bernard Lens III,  Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough, 1720,  London, Victoria and Albert Museum
Fig. 6 Bernard Lens III, Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough, 1720, watercolor on vellum, approx. 405 x 260 mm. London, Victoria and Albert Museum, inv. 627-1882 (artwork in the public domain)
  1. 1. Graham Reynolds and Katherine Baetjer, European Miniatures in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1996), 126. When the painting was sold at London (Sotheby’s, July 7, 1983, lot 96), it had a label attached to the backboard with the inscription: Rubens and his Wife and Child / Copied from the Original of Rubens / in the cabinet of his Grace the duke of Marlborough at Blenheim / Castle Bernard Lens / Painter in Miniature to his Majesty / Anno Domini 1721 with leave of / his Grace / No. 55, but this label is no longer visible.

  2. 2. Ann-Marie Logan, “Bernard Lens and the Marlborough Collection,” in Essays in Honor of Paul Mellon, Collector and Benefactor, ed. John Wilmerding (Washington, D.C.: Olympic, 1986), 203–15.

  3. 3. Letter dated November 8, 1706; Private Correspondence of Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough . . . (London, 1838), 1:58–59. There is little written on the collecting activities of the first Duke and Duchess of Marlborough; I am enormously grateful to Francis Russell for sharing his vast knowledge and a recent essay on the topic.

  4. 4. The most up-to-date source of biographical information on the Lens family is Katherine Coombs, “Lens family (per. c.1650–1779),” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004; online ed., January 2008, http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/66537 (accessed December 14, 2015).

  5. 5. For Lens’s lessons to Spencer: British Library, Blenheim Papers, vol. CCCXLV (Add. Ms. 61445), fol. 101. He also taught miniature painting to such talented amateurs as Catherine da Costa and Sarah Stanley, the daughter of Sir Hans Sloane.

  6. 6. See John Murdoch, Jim Murrell, Patrick J. Noon, and Roy Strong, The English Miniature (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1981), 63, 156–57.

  7. 7. Jane Roberts, “The Limnings, Drawings and Prints in Charles I’s Collection,” in The Late King’s Goods, ed. Arthur MacGregor(London and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989), 117–19.

  8. 8. In the case of Lens, Rubens, His Wife Hélène Fourment, and Their Son Frans at least exists in another (unsigned) version, with minor differences: watercolor and gouache on paper, 380 x 303 mm; private collection, England (2001), said to be dated 1717 on the verso. Photo RKD.

  9. 9. Six of these are in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (inv. E.594-1994 to E.599-1994).

  10. 10. In 1721 John Hervey, Earl of Bristol, bought a series of artists’ portraits from Lens: “1721. – July 26. Paid Mr. Bernard Lens ye limner in full for six pictures of Vandyke, Sam Cooper, Sir Peter Lely, Greenhill, Dobson, & Sir Isaac Newton, 18 guineas”; see The Diary of John Hervey, First Earl of Bristol, With Extracts from His Book of Expenses, 1688 to 1742, ed. S. A. H. Hervey (Wells, 1894), 162.

  11. 11. Horace Walpole, Anecdotes of Painting in England, 3rd ed. (London, 1786), 4:201.

  12. 12. On Goupy, see Sheila O’Connell, ‘Goupy, Joseph (1689-1769)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, May 2008 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/11159, accessed 10 Feb 207]; and Bruce Robertson and Robert Dance, “Joseph Goupy and the Art of the Copy,” Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art 75 (1988): 354–75. I am grateful to Jacob Simon for correcting an error in an earlier version of this article, which wrongly stated Goupy was Huguenot.

  13. 13. Logan, “Bernard Lens,” 204.

  14. 14. Lens popularized the so-called “Lens frame,” a simple molded frame of pear wood stained black.

  15. 15. Lens’s copy of the last, inscribed and dated September 21, 1728, is in the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven (gouache on vellum, wrapped around panel, 285 x 460 mm, inv. B1998.9.2); the original, dated 1567, is in the Royal Collection (inv. RCIN 401230), and a second large-scale version of the composition is at Goodwood House, near Chichester. The commission is mentioned by George Vertue: “Vertue’s Note Book A.g. [British Museum Add. MS. 23,070],” Volume of the Walpole Society 20 (1931–32): 58–59. The half-length portrait of Prior cost 20 guineas; see Richard W. Goulding, “The Welbeck Abbey Miniatures,” Volume of the Walpole Society 4 (1914–15): 41. More generally on Lens’s relationship with the Harley family, see Kim Sloan, ‘A Noble Art’: Amateur Artists and Drawing Masters c. 1600–1800, exh. cat. (London: British Museum, 2000), 114–15.

  16. 16. See Diary of John Hervey, 161–62. The original, by a provincial follower of Raphael, possibly seventeenth century, was displayed at Kensington Palace and later removed to Hampton Court (inv. RCIN 402872).

  17. 17. Gouache on paper, 380 x 300 mm; sale, Zurich, Köller, March 22, 2013, lot 3122. Poussin’s original of ca. 1636–37 is at Stourhead, Wiltshire (inv. NT 732103).

  18. 18. For example, a Portrait of John Churchill in Armor , sale, London, Bonham’s, November 20, 1997, lot 18 (as ca. 1714–15). Among the dowager duchess’s accounts is Lens’s bill for giving drawing lessons to her grandson, John Churchill, in 1723–24 (British Library, Blenheim Papers, vol. CCCXLV [Add. Ms. 61445], fol. 101).

  19. 19. Rubens’s original is lost; the composition survives in a workshop version (oil on canvas, 230 x 273 cm; Siegen, Westphalia, Museum des Siegerlandes, inv. R205). See Logan, ”Bernard Lens,” esp. 206–10. Another small-scale version of the composition, signed by Lens’s pupil Catherine da Costa and dated December 5, 1723, was presumably done from Lens’s miniature (395 x 490 mm; sale, Melbourne, Mosgreen Auctions, June 29, 2015, lot 905, described as a “hand coloured engraving”). Lens probably made copies of commissioned cabinet miniatures for his own use and to serve as models for his pupils; see “Vertue’s Note Book B. 4 [British Museum Add. MS 23,079],” Volume of the Walpole Society 22 [1933–34]: 115. At the 1737 sale of works from Lens’s collection, Vertue noted “a coppy water colours by Mr. Lens from an oyl painting” and “a Coppy S Cooper the limner”; see “Vertue’s Note Book A.x. [British Museum Add. MS. 23,072],”Volume of the Walpole Society 24 [1935–36]): 115.

  20. 20. Including portraits of Mary Churchill, Duchess of Montague and (possibly) Henrietta Churchill, Countess of Godolphin; both in the collection of the Duke of Buccleuch.

  21. 21. The portrait of Anne, Countess of Sunderland, with her son was in the collection of the Duke of Marlborough in 1934 (watercolor on ivory, 143 x 121 mm).

  22. 22. Lens’s portrait of Charles (b. 1706), John (b. 1708), and Diana (b. 1710) Spencer is at Althorp. A more faithful copy by Lens after van Dyck’s painting, dated 1719, is in the Duke of Devonshire collection at Chatsworth.

  23. 23. The miniature of the duke was in the collection of the Duke of Brownlow in 1934.

  24. 24. Watercolor on vellum, 270 mm high; sale, London, Bonham’s, May 21, 2008, lot 23. Lens’s copy of Rubens, His Wife Helena Fourment, and Their Son Frans may have carried a similar inscription (see note 1). The version of van Dyck’s composition owned by the Marlboroughs is in the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore (inv. 37.234).

  25. 25. Gouache on vellum, 350 x 215 mm; sale, Paris, Drouot, November 26, 1998, lot 26. On Veronese’s original, now in the National Gallery, London (inv. NG1041), and the question of whether that painting had been in the Marlborough collection, see Nicholas Penny, National Gallery Catalogues: The Sixteenth Century Italian Schools, Vol. II: Venice 1540–1600 (London: The National Gallery, 2008), 392.

  26. 26. Gouache on vellum, 287 x 346 mm; sale, London, Sotheby’s, December 10, 1979, lot 361. For Rubens’s original: Peter Paul Rubens, Roman Charity, mid-1630s, oil on canvas, 194 x 200 cm (including a strip of approx. 25 cm at the top, added later); Siegen, Museum des Siegerlandes, inv. 3 F 1955; see Elizabeth McGrath, Corpus Rubenianum Ludwig Burchard, Part 13, Subjects from History (London: Harvey Miller, 1997), 2:110–13, no. 22.

  27. 27. “Vertue’s Note Book A.b.,” Volume of the Walpole Society 18 (1929–30): 119.

  28. 28. On Teniers’s copies, see Ernst Vegelin van Claerbergen, ed., David Teniers and the Theatre of Painting, exh. cat. (London: Courtauld Institute of Art Gallery, 2006); and in the same catalogue, specifically on the history of the copies, James Methuen-Campbell, “Early Collections of Teniers’s Copies for the Theatrum Pictorium,” 59–63. Teniers’s small paintings were dispersed in the Marlborough sale in 1886.

  29. 29. Hans Vlieghe, David Teniers the Younger (1610–1690): A Biography (Turnhout: Brepols, 2011), 39.

  30. 30. Pierre Jacques Fougeroux, “Voiage D’Angleterre D’Hollande et de Flandre fait en L’année 1728” (London, National Art Library, MSL/1912/1255), fol. 110.

  31. 31. See Tessa Murdoch, “Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, and Marlborough House, London 1740,” in Noble Households: Eighteenth-Century Inventories of Great English Houses; A Tribute to John Cornforth, ed. Tessa Murdoch (Cambridge: John Adamson, 2006), 276. The original manuscript is in the British Library.

  32. 32. The surviving copies Lens made for the Marlboroughs depict exclusively Flemish paintings, offering an intriguing (if unintended) complement to the Italian focus of the copies Teniers made for the archduke.

  33. 33. Rubens, His Wife Helena Fourment, and Their Son Frans was a gift from the city of Brussels, and Marlborough specifically requested van Dyck’s Charles I on Horseback (formerly in the English royal collection) as a gift from Emperor Joseph I.

  34. 34. Rubens’s Roman Charity was purchased by the duchess from the Duke of Portland’s sale; Anthony van Dyck’s Time Clipping Cupid’s Wings, previously owned byKing William III, was purchased by a consortium which included James Brydges, Duke of Chandos, who in turn gave the painting to Marlborough.

  35. 35. Edward Norgate, Miniatura or the Art of Limning, edited, introduced, and annotated by Jeffrey M. Muller and Jim Murrell (New Haven and London: Yale Center for British Art, 1997), 89.

  36. 36. “Vertue’s Note Book B. 4,” 115.

  37. 37. Kimerly Rorschach, “Frederick, Prince of Wales (1707–51) as Collector and Patron,” Volume of the Walpole Society 55 (1989–90): 18, 72–74.

  38. 38. The codicil to the duchess’s will states: “I give to my granddaughter Mary Duchess of Leeds . . . the Picture in Water-Colours of the late Duke of Marlborough on Horseback, drawn by Lens, which is now at Windsor Lodge” (A true copy of the last will and testament of Her Grace Sarah, late duchess dowager of Marlborough: with the Codicil thereto annexed [London, 1744], 71–20). Lens’s miniature was estimated at £42 in a valuation of the duchess’s jewelry drawn up in 1734; British Library, Blenheim Papers, vol. CCCXXXVIII (Add. Ms. 61438), fol. 110.

Claerbergen, Ernst Vegelin van, ed. David Teniers and the Theatre of Painting. Exh. cat. London: Courtauld Institute of Art Gallery, 2006.

Coombs, Katherine. “Lens family (per. c.1650–1779).” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004; online edition, January 2008 http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/66537.

Goulding, Richard W. “The Welbeck Abbey Miniatures.” Volume of the Walpole Society 4 (1914–15): 1–224.

Hervey, John. The Diary of John Hervey, First Earl of Bristol, With Extracts from His Book of Expenses, 1688 to 1742. Edited by S. A. H. Hervey. Wells, 1894.

Logan, Ann-Marie. “Bernard Lens and the Marlborough Collection.” In Essays in Honor of Paul Mellon, Collector and Benefactor, edited by John Wilmerding, 203–15. Washington, D.C.: Olympic, 1986.

McGrath, Elizabeth. Corpus Rubenianum Ludwig Burchard. Part 13, Subjects from History. 2 vols. London: Harvey Miller, 1997.

Marlborough, Sarah Jenyns Churchill. Private Correspondence of Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough: Illustrative of the Court and Times of Queen Anne; with Her Sketches and Opinions of Her Contemporaries, and the Select Correspondence of Her Husband, John, Duke of Marlborough. 2 vols. London, 1838.

Methuen-Campbell, James. “Early Collections of Teniers’s Copies for the Theatrum Pictorium.” In David Teniers and the Theatre of Painting, edited by Ernst Vegelin van Claerbergen, 59–63. Exh. cat. London: Courtauld Institute of Art Gallery, 2006.

Murdoch, John, Jim Murrell, Patrick J. Noon, and Roy Strong. The English Miniature. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1981.

Murdoch, Tessa. “Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, and Marlborough House, London 1740.” In Noble Households: Eighteenth-Century Inventories of Great English Houses; A Tribute to John Cornforth, edited by Tessa Murdoch, 273–87. Cambridge: John Adamson, 2006.

Norgate, Edward. Miniatura or the Art of Limning. Edited, introduced, and annotated by Jeffrey M. Muller and Jim Murrell. New Haven and London: Yale Center for British Art, 1997.

Penny, Nicholas. National Gallery Catalogues: The Sixteenth Century Italian Schools, Vol. II: Venice 1540–1600. London: The National Gallery, 2008.

Reynolds, Graham, and Katherine Baetjer. European Miniatures in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1996.

Roberts, Jane. “The Limnings, Drawings and Prints in Charles I’s Collection.” In The Late King’s Goods, edited by Arthur MacGregor, 115–29. London and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989.

Robertson, Bruce, and Robert Dance. “Joseph Goupy and the Art of the Copy.” Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art 75 (1988): 354–75.

Rorschach, Kimerly. “Frederick, Prince of Wales (1707–51) as Collector and Patron.” Volume of the Walpole Society 55 (1989–90): 1–56.

Sloan, Kim. ‘A Noble Art’: Amateur Artists and Drawing Masters c. 1600–1800. Exh. cat. London: British Museum, 2000.

A true copy of the last will and testament of Her Grace Sarah, late duchess dowager of Marlborough: with the Codicil thereto annexed . London, 1744.

Vertue, George. “Vertue’s Note Book A.b. [British Museum Add. MS. 23,069].” Volume of the Walpole Society 18 (1929): 81–161.

Vertue, George. “Vertue’s Note Book A.g. [British Museum Add. MS. 23,070].” Volume of the Walpole Society 20 (1931): 1–93.

Vertue, George. “Vertue’s Note Book B. 4 [British Museum Add. MS. 23,079].” Volume of the Walpole Society 22 (1933): 87–142.

Vertue, Geroge. “Vertue’s Note Book A.x. [British Museum Add. MS. 23,072].” Volume of the Walpole Society 24 (1935): 101–97.

Vlieghe, Hans. David Teniers the Younger (1610–1690): A Biography. Turnhout: Brepols, 2011.

Walpole, Horace. Anecdotes of Painting in England . . . 3rd ed. 5 vols. London, 1786.


Unpublished Sources

Blenheim Papers, vol. CCCXXXVIII (London, British Library, Add. Ms. 61438).

Blenheim Papers, vol. CCCXLV (London, British Library, Add. Ms. 61445).

Fougeroux, Pierre Jacques. “Voiage D’Angleterre D’Hollande et de Flandre fait en L’année 1728.” (London, National Art Library, MSL/1912/1255)

List of Illustrations

Bernard Lens III,  Rubens, His Wife Helena Fourment, and Their Son , 1721,  New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Fig. 1 Bernard Lens III, Rubens, His Wife Helena Fourment, and Their Son Frans, 1721, watercolor and bodycolor on vellum, 394 x 302 mm. New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, inv. 1984.442 (artwork in the public domain)
Peter Paul Rubens,  Rubens, His Wife Helena Fourment, and Their Son ,  ca. 1635,  New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Fig. 2 Peter Paul Rubens, Rubens, His Wife Helena Fourment, and Their Son Frans, ca. 1635, oil on wood, 203.8 x 158.1 cm. New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, inv. 1981.238 (artwork in the public domain)
Bernard Lens III,  King Charles I on Horseback, 1721,  Croft Castle, Herefordshire, Midlands (National Trust)
Fig. 4 Bernard Lens III, King Charles I on Horseback, 1721, gouache on vellum, 483 x 413 mm. Croft Castle, Herefordshire, Midlands (National Trust), inv. NT 537591 (artwork in the public domain)
Anthony van Dyck,  King Charles I on Horseback,  ca. 1638,  London, The National Gallery
Fig. 5 Anthony van Dyck, King Charles I on Horseback, ca. 1638, oil on canvas, approx. 367 x 292.1 cm. London, The National Gallery, inv. NG1172 (artwork in the public domain)
Bernard Lens III,  The Victorious Hero Takes Occasion to Conclude P, 1720,  New Haven, Yale Center for British Art
Fig. 3 Bernard Lens III, The Victorious Hero Takes Occasion to Conclude Peace, 1720, watercolor and gouache, heightened with gold, on vellum, 394 x 476 mm. New Haven, Yale Center for British Art, inv. B1982.6 (artwork in the public domain)
Bernard Lens III,  Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough, 1720,  London, Victoria and Albert Museum
Fig. 6 Bernard Lens III, Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough, 1720, watercolor on vellum, approx. 405 x 260 mm. London, Victoria and Albert Museum, inv. 627-1882 (artwork in the public domain)

Footnotes

  1. 1. Graham Reynolds and Katherine Baetjer, European Miniatures in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1996), 126. When the painting was sold at London (Sotheby’s, July 7, 1983, lot 96), it had a label attached to the backboard with the inscription: Rubens and his Wife and Child / Copied from the Original of Rubens / in the cabinet of his Grace the duke of Marlborough at Blenheim / Castle Bernard Lens / Painter in Miniature to his Majesty / Anno Domini 1721 with leave of / his Grace / No. 55, but this label is no longer visible.

  2. 2. Ann-Marie Logan, “Bernard Lens and the Marlborough Collection,” in Essays in Honor of Paul Mellon, Collector and Benefactor, ed. John Wilmerding (Washington, D.C.: Olympic, 1986), 203–15.

  3. 3. Letter dated November 8, 1706; Private Correspondence of Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough . . . (London, 1838), 1:58–59. There is little written on the collecting activities of the first Duke and Duchess of Marlborough; I am enormously grateful to Francis Russell for sharing his vast knowledge and a recent essay on the topic.

  4. 4. The most up-to-date source of biographical information on the Lens family is Katherine Coombs, “Lens family (per. c.1650–1779),” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004; online ed., January 2008, http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/66537 (accessed December 14, 2015).

  5. 5. For Lens’s lessons to Spencer: British Library, Blenheim Papers, vol. CCCXLV (Add. Ms. 61445), fol. 101. He also taught miniature painting to such talented amateurs as Catherine da Costa and Sarah Stanley, the daughter of Sir Hans Sloane.

  6. 6. See John Murdoch, Jim Murrell, Patrick J. Noon, and Roy Strong, The English Miniature (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1981), 63, 156–57.

  7. 7. Jane Roberts, “The Limnings, Drawings and Prints in Charles I’s Collection,” in The Late King’s Goods, ed. Arthur MacGregor(London and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989), 117–19.

  8. 8. In the case of Lens, Rubens, His Wife Hélène Fourment, and Their Son Frans at least exists in another (unsigned) version, with minor differences: watercolor and gouache on paper, 380 x 303 mm; private collection, England (2001), said to be dated 1717 on the verso. Photo RKD.

  9. 9. Six of these are in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (inv. E.594-1994 to E.599-1994).

  10. 10. In 1721 John Hervey, Earl of Bristol, bought a series of artists’ portraits from Lens: “1721. – July 26. Paid Mr. Bernard Lens ye limner in full for six pictures of Vandyke, Sam Cooper, Sir Peter Lely, Greenhill, Dobson, & Sir Isaac Newton, 18 guineas”; see The Diary of John Hervey, First Earl of Bristol, With Extracts from His Book of Expenses, 1688 to 1742, ed. S. A. H. Hervey (Wells, 1894), 162.

  11. 11. Horace Walpole, Anecdotes of Painting in England, 3rd ed. (London, 1786), 4:201.

  12. 12. On Goupy, see Sheila O’Connell, ‘Goupy, Joseph (1689-1769)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, May 2008 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/11159, accessed 10 Feb 207]; and Bruce Robertson and Robert Dance, “Joseph Goupy and the Art of the Copy,” Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art 75 (1988): 354–75. I am grateful to Jacob Simon for correcting an error in an earlier version of this article, which wrongly stated Goupy was Huguenot.

  13. 13. Logan, “Bernard Lens,” 204.

  14. 14. Lens popularized the so-called “Lens frame,” a simple molded frame of pear wood stained black.

  15. 15. Lens’s copy of the last, inscribed and dated September 21, 1728, is in the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven (gouache on vellum, wrapped around panel, 285 x 460 mm, inv. B1998.9.2); the original, dated 1567, is in the Royal Collection (inv. RCIN 401230), and a second large-scale version of the composition is at Goodwood House, near Chichester. The commission is mentioned by George Vertue: “Vertue’s Note Book A.g. [British Museum Add. MS. 23,070],” Volume of the Walpole Society 20 (1931–32): 58–59. The half-length portrait of Prior cost 20 guineas; see Richard W. Goulding, “The Welbeck Abbey Miniatures,” Volume of the Walpole Society 4 (1914–15): 41. More generally on Lens’s relationship with the Harley family, see Kim Sloan, ‘A Noble Art’: Amateur Artists and Drawing Masters c. 1600–1800, exh. cat. (London: British Museum, 2000), 114–15.

  16. 16. See Diary of John Hervey, 161–62. The original, by a provincial follower of Raphael, possibly seventeenth century, was displayed at Kensington Palace and later removed to Hampton Court (inv. RCIN 402872).

  17. 17. Gouache on paper, 380 x 300 mm; sale, Zurich, Köller, March 22, 2013, lot 3122. Poussin’s original of ca. 1636–37 is at Stourhead, Wiltshire (inv. NT 732103).

  18. 18. For example, a Portrait of John Churchill in Armor , sale, London, Bonham’s, November 20, 1997, lot 18 (as ca. 1714–15). Among the dowager duchess’s accounts is Lens’s bill for giving drawing lessons to her grandson, John Churchill, in 1723–24 (British Library, Blenheim Papers, vol. CCCXLV [Add. Ms. 61445], fol. 101).

  19. 19. Rubens’s original is lost; the composition survives in a workshop version (oil on canvas, 230 x 273 cm; Siegen, Westphalia, Museum des Siegerlandes, inv. R205). See Logan, ”Bernard Lens,” esp. 206–10. Another small-scale version of the composition, signed by Lens’s pupil Catherine da Costa and dated December 5, 1723, was presumably done from Lens’s miniature (395 x 490 mm; sale, Melbourne, Mosgreen Auctions, June 29, 2015, lot 905, described as a “hand coloured engraving”). Lens probably made copies of commissioned cabinet miniatures for his own use and to serve as models for his pupils; see “Vertue’s Note Book B. 4 [British Museum Add. MS 23,079],” Volume of the Walpole Society 22 [1933–34]: 115. At the 1737 sale of works from Lens’s collection, Vertue noted “a coppy water colours by Mr. Lens from an oyl painting” and “a Coppy S Cooper the limner”; see “Vertue’s Note Book A.x. [British Museum Add. MS. 23,072],”Volume of the Walpole Society 24 [1935–36]): 115.

  20. 20. Including portraits of Mary Churchill, Duchess of Montague and (possibly) Henrietta Churchill, Countess of Godolphin; both in the collection of the Duke of Buccleuch.

  21. 21. The portrait of Anne, Countess of Sunderland, with her son was in the collection of the Duke of Marlborough in 1934 (watercolor on ivory, 143 x 121 mm).

  22. 22. Lens’s portrait of Charles (b. 1706), John (b. 1708), and Diana (b. 1710) Spencer is at Althorp. A more faithful copy by Lens after van Dyck’s painting, dated 1719, is in the Duke of Devonshire collection at Chatsworth.

  23. 23. The miniature of the duke was in the collection of the Duke of Brownlow in 1934.

  24. 24. Watercolor on vellum, 270 mm high; sale, London, Bonham’s, May 21, 2008, lot 23. Lens’s copy of Rubens, His Wife Helena Fourment, and Their Son Frans may have carried a similar inscription (see note 1). The version of van Dyck’s composition owned by the Marlboroughs is in the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore (inv. 37.234).

  25. 25. Gouache on vellum, 350 x 215 mm; sale, Paris, Drouot, November 26, 1998, lot 26. On Veronese’s original, now in the National Gallery, London (inv. NG1041), and the question of whether that painting had been in the Marlborough collection, see Nicholas Penny, National Gallery Catalogues: The Sixteenth Century Italian Schools, Vol. II: Venice 1540–1600 (London: The National Gallery, 2008), 392.

  26. 26. Gouache on vellum, 287 x 346 mm; sale, London, Sotheby’s, December 10, 1979, lot 361. For Rubens’s original: Peter Paul Rubens, Roman Charity, mid-1630s, oil on canvas, 194 x 200 cm (including a strip of approx. 25 cm at the top, added later); Siegen, Museum des Siegerlandes, inv. 3 F 1955; see Elizabeth McGrath, Corpus Rubenianum Ludwig Burchard, Part 13, Subjects from History (London: Harvey Miller, 1997), 2:110–13, no. 22.

  27. 27. “Vertue’s Note Book A.b.,” Volume of the Walpole Society 18 (1929–30): 119.

  28. 28. On Teniers’s copies, see Ernst Vegelin van Claerbergen, ed., David Teniers and the Theatre of Painting, exh. cat. (London: Courtauld Institute of Art Gallery, 2006); and in the same catalogue, specifically on the history of the copies, James Methuen-Campbell, “Early Collections of Teniers’s Copies for the Theatrum Pictorium,” 59–63. Teniers’s small paintings were dispersed in the Marlborough sale in 1886.

  29. 29. Hans Vlieghe, David Teniers the Younger (1610–1690): A Biography (Turnhout: Brepols, 2011), 39.

  30. 30. Pierre Jacques Fougeroux, “Voiage D’Angleterre D’Hollande et de Flandre fait en L’année 1728” (London, National Art Library, MSL/1912/1255), fol. 110.

  31. 31. See Tessa Murdoch, “Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, and Marlborough House, London 1740,” in Noble Households: Eighteenth-Century Inventories of Great English Houses; A Tribute to John Cornforth, ed. Tessa Murdoch (Cambridge: John Adamson, 2006), 276. The original manuscript is in the British Library.

  32. 32. The surviving copies Lens made for the Marlboroughs depict exclusively Flemish paintings, offering an intriguing (if unintended) complement to the Italian focus of the copies Teniers made for the archduke.

  33. 33. Rubens, His Wife Helena Fourment, and Their Son Frans was a gift from the city of Brussels, and Marlborough specifically requested van Dyck’s Charles I on Horseback (formerly in the English royal collection) as a gift from Emperor Joseph I.

  34. 34. Rubens’s Roman Charity was purchased by the duchess from the Duke of Portland’s sale; Anthony van Dyck’s Time Clipping Cupid’s Wings, previously owned byKing William III, was purchased by a consortium which included James Brydges, Duke of Chandos, who in turn gave the painting to Marlborough.

  35. 35. Edward Norgate, Miniatura or the Art of Limning, edited, introduced, and annotated by Jeffrey M. Muller and Jim Murrell (New Haven and London: Yale Center for British Art, 1997), 89.

  36. 36. “Vertue’s Note Book B. 4,” 115.

  37. 37. Kimerly Rorschach, “Frederick, Prince of Wales (1707–51) as Collector and Patron,” Volume of the Walpole Society 55 (1989–90): 18, 72–74.

  38. 38. The codicil to the duchess’s will states: “I give to my granddaughter Mary Duchess of Leeds . . . the Picture in Water-Colours of the late Duke of Marlborough on Horseback, drawn by Lens, which is now at Windsor Lodge” (A true copy of the last will and testament of Her Grace Sarah, late duchess dowager of Marlborough: with the Codicil thereto annexed [London, 1744], 71–20). Lens’s miniature was estimated at £42 in a valuation of the duchess’s jewelry drawn up in 1734; British Library, Blenheim Papers, vol. CCCXXXVIII (Add. Ms. 61438), fol. 110.

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Blenheim Papers, vol. CCCXXXVIII (London, British Library, Add. Ms. 61438).

Blenheim Papers, vol. CCCXLV (London, British Library, Add. Ms. 61445).

Fougeroux, Pierre Jacques. “Voiage D’Angleterre D’Hollande et de Flandre fait en L’année 1728.” (London, National Art Library, MSL/1912/1255)

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DOI: 10.5092/jhna.2017.9.1.18
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Marjorie E. Wieseman, "Bernard Lens’s Miniatures for the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough," Journal of Historians of Netherlandish Art 9:1 (Winter 2017) DOI: 10.5092/jhna.2017.9.1.18