image ward p0220
Image number: RS.9667
Credit: ©The Royal Society
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Portrait of Seth Ward

Date

1673-1674

Sitter

Seth Ward (1617-1689, British), Astronomer

Creator

John Greenhill (1644-1676, British), Painter

Object type

Archive reference number

Material

Dimensions

height (painting): 1270mm
width (painting): 1030mm

Subject

Content object

Description

Three-quarter length portrait of Seth Ward wearing the robes of the Order of the Garter and seated on a square-backed chair. His left hand rests on a seal bag signifying his position as Chancellor of the Order of the Garter. The right hand rests on two leather bound books. Ward wears a black cap, shoulder-length natural hair and a light moustache. An architectural pillar is visible immediately behind the sitter, beyond which is a landscape with clouds and a view of Salisbury Cathedral.

Seth Ward was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1663.

Transcription

The Gift of Jo: KING: Peruke Maker in London

Object history

Deposited by the Bishop Seth Ward Almshouse Trust, 2004.

The painting was displayed at Hertfordshire Record Office from 1948, initially in the County Archivist’s Office and then the Archive Reading Room. [Letter, Hertfordshire County Archivist, 6 August 2004, to the Royal Society. Royal Society portrait provenance file].

Several versions of the Greenhill portrait exist. Harold Williams noted in an essay on Ward portraiture that: “It was natural that when a portrait of the distinguished Bishop of Salisbury was projected John Greenhill, born in that city...should be chosen...It was in the same year, 1673, that Greenhill received a commission to paint a portrait of Seth Ward.” [“Portraits of Seth Ward, Lord Bishop of Sarum”, by Sir Harold Williams, East Hertfordshire Archaeological Society Transactions, 1950-51 pp.9-12].

Associated place

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