The Guitar Player

Jacob van SchuppenAbout 1700

Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool

Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool

Charmingly informal, this portrait has more recently been thought to show Sir William Waldegrave (d. 1701) with his wife and niece. Waldegrave, who was private physician to King James II at his court in exile in France, was celebrated as a guitar player, and he is known to have commissioned a portrait from van Schuppen in 1700. Playing the guitar was a popular courtly pursuit in France in the early 18th century and was considered especially suitable for accompanying singing: the music book on the table is open at a song. The prominence given to music making is perhaps meant to suggest harmony within the family. The guitar was probably made by one of the Voboam family, guitar makers in 17th century Paris.

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  • Title: The Guitar Player
  • Creator: Jacob van Schuppen
  • Date Created: About 1700
  • tag / style: Jacob van Schuppen; Portraiture; Sir William Waldegrave; guitar; music; man; woman; music book; interior; family; daughter; dancing; fruit; dog; animal; cymbal; drapery
  • Physical Dimensions: w1175 x h902 cm (Without frame)
  • Artist biographical information: Van Schuppen was a painter of historical and genre scenes and portraits. He lived in Paris until 1719, and then in Lunéville. In Lorraine he was a painter for Duke Leopold. The Archduke Charles (the future Charles VI of Allemagne) subsequently took him to Vienna where he became court painter.
  • Additional artwork information: To learn about this painting and the Walker Art Gallery’s 18th-century collections, please follow this link: http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/walker/collections/18c/ For a jigsaw of this painting, please follow this link: http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/online/jigsaw/JigsawDisplay.aspx?jigid=313&ID=2
  • Type: Oil on canvas
  • Rights: Presented by Liverpool Royal Institution in 1948