Gottfried Kniller/Sir Godfrey Kneller (1685)


Gottfried Kniller (1646-1723) discovered his passion for painting during his military training in Leiden. He subsequently trained as a painter in Amsterdam and traveled to Rome, Venice, Nuremberg and Hamburg among other places before a letter of recommendation from the Duke of Monmouth’s secretary brought him to the English court, where he became a popular portrait painter. He was also head of the Kneller Academy for Painting and Drawing. Due to the high demand for his portrait paintings, he established a workshop where he and his assistants produced portraits in an almost factory-like manner. He anglicized his name in order to fully assimilate to the culture of his host country. This self-portrait shows Kneller at the height of his career as a painter.


Source: Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt, by Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt, oil on canvas, feigned oval, 1685. National Portrait Gallery London 3794.

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Gottfried Kniller/Sir Godfrey Kneller (1685), published in: German History Intersections, <> [November 30, 2023].