image oldenburg p0097
Image number: RS.9673
Credit: ©The Royal Society
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Portrait of Henry Oldenburg

Date

1668

Sitter

Henry Oldenburg (1612-1677, German), Scientific correspondent

Creator

Jan van Cleve (1646-1716, Flemish), Painter

Object type

Archive reference number

Material

Dimensions

height (painting): 838mm
width (painting): 635mm

Content object

clothing
   > accessory
      > pocket watch

Description

Half-length portrait. Oldenburg is dressed in black with a large white square collar and turned back cuffs. On his left hand, at his chest, he wears a square-cut diamond ring on the little finger. His right hand holds the key on a black ribbon, presumably to the pocket chronometer or watch that stands on the table before him. Oldenburg’s hair is dark, shoulder length and natural and he has a thin moustache.

Henry Oldenburg was elected a Fellow of the Royal society in 1663.

Transcription

Portrait of Oldenberg...inspecting the improvement to the balllance spring of watches in the year 1668 by J.Van Cleef.
Oldenburg
HENRY OLDENBURG (1626-77) SECRETARY 1663-7. By JOHN VAN CLEEF

Object history

Purchased.

Previous printed catalogues, including that by C.R. Weld’s indicate that the painting was purchased, but with no further provenance. A brief list of 1834 gives the same information, attributing the work to the Dutch artist David Beck (1621-1656). [Portraits in the possession of the Royal Society (London, Royal Society, November 1834)].

The work was not noted in the Gentleman’s Magazine list of Royal Society paintings [“A list of original pictures at the Royal Society House. Communicated by a Connoisseur’, Gentleman’s Magazine, vol. 38 (1768), pp. 62-3.] therefore it must have been bought between years 1768 and 1832.

Associated place

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      > United Kingdom