Cornelis Jonson Van Ceulen The Younger (Attributed)

Portrait Of Philip Lord Wenman

Cornelis Jonson Van Ceulen The Younger (Attributed)

Portrait Of Philip Lord Wenman

This remarkable 17th-century head-and-shoulders portrait depicts Philip Lord Wenman (1610-1686), the third Viscount Wenman of Tuam, Ireland. It’s attributed to English artist Cornelis Jonson Van Ceulen The Younger (1634-1715).

At age 60, he reflects on a turbulent life of war, politics, and imprisonment. An inkling of a wry smile suggests a state of inner contentment, while his deep-set eyes glisten with decades of acquired wisdom.

Wenman lived during a fierce age for the Monarchy. Born in 1610, he fought in several bloody battles for Charles I, defended the King during the English Civil Wars, and conspired with Charles II when he fled for Europe. Astonishingly, he was imprisoned in the Tower of London at least twice - first for supporting the exiled King and later by the restored King himself.

Read Philip Lord Wenman’s timeline.

So here, when into his autumn years, he peers knowingly across the centuries with a degree of relief that he’s cheated death on numerous occasions. And finally, from his home at The Tithe House in Brackley, he’s able to savour more leisurely pursuits.

Artist Cornelis Jonson Van Ceulen The Younger has captured Wenman with sensitivity via exquisite handling. Note the subtleties in the skin tones, the heavy eyelids, and the skilful application of chiaroscuro. Jonson Van Ceulen was born in London but spent most of his life in The Netherlands and, like many of his esteemed contemporaries, his works allude to the spirit of a sitter rather than simply their aesthetic. He examines their soul while underplaying their grandeur.

The portrait employs the use of a feigned (or fictive) oval - a common addition during the Restoration Period. Several portraits of Charles II (by Peter Lely’s studio and Jacob Huysmans) are also presented this way. Perhaps Wenman was keen to follow suit and requested it personally.

An inscription in the top left refers to Wenman’s brother, Thomas Lord Viscount Wenman, and his niece Mary Wenman, so it’s plausible that it once hung at Thame Park in Oxfordshire.

Held within a later wooden frame.

Medium: Oil on canvas
Overall size: 27½” x 32½” / 70cm x 83cm
Year of creation: c. 1670
Labels & Inscriptions: Top left - ‘Philip Lord Wenman, Brother of Thos Lord Visct Wenman & Uncle of Mary Wenman’.
Condition: Artwork presents well. Fine craquelure but the paint is stable. Canvas relined. Old repairs, all stable. Frame with some light wear.
Artist’s Auction Maximum: £6,138

Cornelis Jonson Van Ceulen The Younger

Cornelis Jonson Van Ceulen The Younger

English artist Cornelis Jonson van Ceulen the Younger (1634-1715) is predominantly known for his fine portraiture. He was trained by his father, the eminent Cornelis Jonson van Ceulen the Elder (1593-1661), and spent most of his life in Utrecht, The Netherlands. His works are held in numerous public collections including at The Met Museum, New York, and the Rijksmuseum.

Learn more about Cornelis Jonson Van Ceulen The Younger in our directory.

Conservation & History

We care profoundly about our role as custodians and every piece in the collection has been assessed by our conservator. When required, we undertake professional restoration carefully using reversible techniques and adopt a light touch to retain the aged charm of each work. We also restore frames rather than replace them as many are original and selected by the artists themselves.

Stay In Touch
Subscribe to our Wednesday newsletter for the latest finds and 10% off your order.