John Michael Wright

Susanna Hamilton, Countess of Cassillis, 1632 - 1694. First wife of the 7th Earl of Cassilis (1662)

About this artwork

Susanna Hamilton was the daughter of the 1st Duke of Hamilton, King Charles I's principal Scottish adviser. She spent her childhood at her father's house in Chelsea, surround by his great collection of paintings by Rubens, Correggio and Van Dyck. Wright's sensitive portrait shows Susanna Hamilton at thirty, and suggests character and intelligence rather than flattering her appearance. Five years later, she married the nineteen-year-old Earl of Cassillis.

John Michael Wright

John Michael Wright

The son of a London tailor, John Michael Wright took the unusual step of serving his apprenticeship, from 1636, with George Jamesone in Edinburgh. In the early 1640s Wright went to Rome, where he remained until 1656, becoming a member of the Academy of St Luke. On his return, he lived in London, but he travelled to Dublin in the late 1670s and to Rome in 1686. Wright is one of the most distinctive British-born painters of the seventeenth century, with a confident approach to his sitters and a subtle sense of colour.

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