Portrait of Robert Benson (1676-1731), Baron Bingley thumbnail 1
Portrait of Robert Benson (1676-1731), Baron Bingley thumbnail 2
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Request to view at the Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F , Case RMC, Shelf 9, Box H

Portrait of Robert Benson (1676-1731), Baron Bingley

Portrait Miniature
1704 (painted)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Miniature painting originally referred to the art of painting in watercolour on vellum (fine animal skin). It developed in the early 16th century out of the tradition of illuminating manuscripts (hand-written books). In England, miniature was predominantly a portrait art. It was practised by specialist miniature painters, such as Nicholas Hilliard (1547-1619). On the Continent, miniature painting as a portrait art had a few great practitioners, such as the French painter Jean Clouet (1516?-1572). But not even Clouet was a specialist. Like Hans Holbein, he worked both in miniature and in large in oil.

This miniature is by Andreas von Behn, who was born in Christianopel in Sweden in 1650. Behn was a specialist, known mainly for his miniatures in watercolour on vellum and in enamel on metal. He worked in Sweden from 1677 to 1710-11. In 1693 he was appointed Court Portrait Painter to the Swedish monarchy. We last hear of him in Vienna about 1713, when he was drawing a pension from the Dowager Queen of Sweden. He died in 1715.

The miniature is dated 1704 and depicts Robert Benson, 1st Baron Bingley. Benson became Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1711, and was Queen Anne's Ambassador Extraordinary to the Spanish court in 1713. The queen created him Baron Bingley of Bingley on 21 July 1713. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Heneage Finch, 1st Earl of Aylesford, on 21 December 1703. Behn may have painted this portrait when Benson was travelling on the Continent.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Watercolour on vellum
Brief Description
Portrait miniature of Robert Benson (1676-1731), Baron Bingley, watercolour on vellum, painted by Andreas von Behn (1650-1713?). Swedish School, 1704.
Physical Description
Portrait miniature of Robert Benson, the Baron Bingley.
Dimensions
  • Height: 60mm
  • Width: 47mm
Subjects depicted
Summary
Miniature painting originally referred to the art of painting in watercolour on vellum (fine animal skin). It developed in the early 16th century out of the tradition of illuminating manuscripts (hand-written books). In England, miniature was predominantly a portrait art. It was practised by specialist miniature painters, such as Nicholas Hilliard (1547-1619). On the Continent, miniature painting as a portrait art had a few great practitioners, such as the French painter Jean Clouet (1516?-1572). But not even Clouet was a specialist. Like Hans Holbein, he worked both in miniature and in large in oil.



This miniature is by Andreas von Behn, who was born in Christianopel in Sweden in 1650. Behn was a specialist, known mainly for his miniatures in watercolour on vellum and in enamel on metal. He worked in Sweden from 1677 to 1710-11. In 1693 he was appointed Court Portrait Painter to the Swedish monarchy. We last hear of him in Vienna about 1713, when he was drawing a pension from the Dowager Queen of Sweden. He died in 1715.



The miniature is dated 1704 and depicts Robert Benson, 1st Baron Bingley. Benson became Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1711, and was Queen Anne's Ambassador Extraordinary to the Spanish court in 1713. The queen created him Baron Bingley of Bingley on 21 July 1713. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Heneage Finch, 1st Earl of Aylesford, on 21 December 1703. Behn may have painted this portrait when Benson was travelling on the Continent.
Collection
Accession Number
P.189-1922

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record createdJuly 11, 2003
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