Art Wednesday: Charles Jervas – Irish Painter

Deer, Dog and Cat 1730s Oil on canvas, 103 x 129 cm The Hermitage, St. Petersburg

Deer, Dog and Cat
1730s
Oil on canvas, 103 x 129 cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg

Charles Jervas (1675 – 1739) was an Irish painter and collector, active in England. From 1694 to 1695 he was Godfrey Kneller’s pupil and assistant in London.

Around 1698 he painted small copies (Oxford, All Souls, Codrington Lib.) of the Raphael cartoons at Hampton Court Palace, which he sold to Dr George Clarke of All Souls, Oxford. In 1699 he went to Rome via Paris, funded by Dr Clarke and others.

In 1709 he returned to England and built up a successful practice as a fashionable portrait painter. He had literary ambitions and painted portraits of a number of his intellectual friends, including Jonathan Swift (1710) and Alexander Pope (both London, National Portrait Gallery).

Pope had painting lessons from Jervas and in 1713 addressed a poem to him, which was prefixed to Dryden’s translation (1716 edn) of Charles-Alphonse Du Fresnoy’s De arte graphica (1641-45). Jervas’s own translation of Cervantes’s Don Quixote was published posthumously (under the name Jarvis) in 1742.

Crash

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