The Twickenham Museum
For children

Sir Godfrey Kneller
A painter of vast conceit
c.1648 - 1723

Sir Godfrey Kneller self portrait 1685.

Painter of Kings and prominent people

Sir Godfrey Kneller was the greatest painter of English portraits in his time. King William and Queen Mary made him their Court Painter and he worked for two more reigning monarchs.

His work was popular and many people asked him to paint their portraits - politicians, scientists, writers and the gentry. Many of his portraits can be seen today in art galleries and country houses. And you can see some on the website of the National Portrait Gallery.

Sir Godfrey Kneller's Coat of Arms in a window in St Mary's Church, Twickenham

Moves to Kneller Hall

He built Kneller Hall for himself: it was called Whitton Hall at that time. It was large with a studio where he and a number of assistants worked. He needed the assistants to help him complete such a large number of paintings. The house was mainly rebuilt in about 1850.

When Sir Godfrey died there were about 800 of his paintings in Kneller Hall which were sold by his widow.

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