Thomas Pooley (1646-1723)
Portrait of Sir John Perceval, 3rd Bt (1660-1686), c.1670-1674
Oil on canvas, 77 x 63.8 cm
This half-length portrait is one of three of a set of the Perceval brothers. All three brothers attended Christchurch College, Oxford, when this painting might have been painted. John was born in Egmont, County Cork, and in 1680 succeeded his eldest brother Robert to the baronetcy. Tragically, though presented as fresh faced, confident dandies in Pooley’s portraits, all three brothers died young. Robert, a gambler and duellist, was murdered in the Strand, London, aged just twenty, while Philip was poisoned at the age of twenty-four, and John died at twenty-six of jail fever, contracted from prisoners. It is believed that the artist received some instruction in painting from Sir Peter Lely (1618-80). He arrived in Dublin in 1676 and became the principal painter of the Establishment for about the next twenty years.
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