Prolific and successful in his own lifetime, and ""Picture drawer"" to Charles I, Cornelius Johnson (1593–1661) is now the forgotten man of seventeenth-century British art. This is the first book ever to address his life and work.
Johnson's surviving works, all portraits, are found in most public collections in Britain and in many private collections seen on the walls of British country houses, in the possession of descendants of the original sitters. Working on every scale from the miniature to the full-length and big group portrait, Johnson faithfully rendered the rich textiles and intricate lace collars worn by his sitters. While always recognisably by him, his works reveal his exceptional flexibility and underline his response to successive influences. When four of Johnson's portraits in the Tate’s collection were recently conserved, the author Karen Hearn commissioned investigations into his working methods and techniques. This previously unpublished material will make a significant contribution to the literature on this little-known artist as well as to the technical literature on 17th-century painting.
Karen Hearn is a historian, curator, researcher, lecturer, and broadcaster of sixteenth and seventeenth-century British Art. One long-standing focus is the life and work of Cornelius Johnson.
- 72 pages
Three striking portraits by Johnson are currently on display in our current exhibition Unseen Treasures.