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Pieter Cornelisz van Slingelandt (Leiden 1641-Leiden 1691)

James II (1633-1701), when Duke of York 1665-73

Watercolour on vellum | 21.4 x 17.3 cm (support, canvas/panel/str external) | RCIN 422088

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This important cabinet miniature is an important addition to the iconography of James II when Duke of York. It presents the Duke of York as Lord High Admiral, carrying his baton of office, and wearing the ribbon of the Order of the Garter with the badge of the George over armour. As Lord High Admiral, the Duke of York was leading the naval hostilities against the Dutch from 1665 until 1667 and again in 1672. He resigned the Admiralty in 1673 and is not known to have visited Holland, where Slingeland worked, until 1679. Slingeland is not known to have travelled to England from his base in Leiden, and on this basis, the miniature would have to date to c. 1679-80 at the earliest. The miniature challenges comparison with Samuel Cooper's most ambitious compositions, and it has been argued that the influence of Samuel Cooper's work is so evident here that Slingeland may perhaps have visited England to gain instruction from the internationally famous master. It is equally possible, however, that he could have encountered Cooper's work, or the artist himself, in Holland. Pieter Cornelisz van Slingeland was the pupil of Gerrit Dou, and was active in Leiden where he became a member of the Guild of Painters in 1691, the year of his death. He was mainly occupied with the production of genre paintings and portraits; amongst the latter are oil miniatures and drawings on vellum. Signed lower right: 'P.V. Slingeland'