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    Portrait of Francis Bacon

    Date
    ca. 1617-1620
    Sitter
    Francis Bacon (1561 - 1626, British) , Philosopher
    Creator
    Studio of Paulus van Somer I (1576 - 1621, Flemish) , Painter
    Object type
    Archive reference number
    Material
    Dimensions
    height (painting): 1120mm
    width (painting): 850mm
    Subject
    Description
    Half-length portrait of Francis Bacon, standing, his left arm leaning on a table upon which rests a bag holding the Great Seal of England, signifying his office as its Keeper (1617). This hand holds a paper addressed “To the Hon:ble Francis Lord Verulam Ld. Chancller of England”. Bacon is shown wearing a doublet and black gown, the sleeves embroidered in gold, with white lace cuffs. He wears a round white ruff and a black hat at a slight angle. Bacon has long, natural hair with a beard and is presented against a background of red drapery.
    Transcription
    Lord Chancellor Bacon
    FRANCIS BACON by PAUL VAN SOMER
    Object history
    Bequeathed by Martin Folkes FRS, 1754.

    The bequest from Martin Folkes’s will is recorded in Council Minutes: “...he [the President] further acquainted them, that the said Mr William Folkes and Mrs Lucretia Folkes, the Executors of the said Will had also Sent to the Society The Lord Bacon’s Picture bequeathed to them by the Said Will for which Mr Hauksbee had given a Receipt.“ [Royal Society Council Minutes, Original, CMO/4, meeting of 21 November 1754]. The will stated: “I do give to the Royal Society...my Picture of the Great Lord Chancellor Bacon.” [Will of Martin Folkes of Hillingdon, Norfolk, 3 July 1754, National Archives, PROB/11/809].

    Martin Folkes presented pictures of himself (by Hogarth) and Isaac Newton (by Vanderbank) in addition to this work.
    Associated place
    <The World>
       > Europe
          > United Kingdom
    Credit
    ©The Royal Society
    Image number
    RS.9655
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