Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Kneller, Sir Godfrey (1646-1723), a painter of German extraction, was a native of Liibeck. He was sent to Leyden with a view to a military career, but afterwards removed to Amsterdam, where he studied painting under Ferdinand Bot, and perhaps had lessons from Rembrandt. After a short residence at Liibeck he went to Italy, where he especially studied the works of /Titian and Tintoretto. He now began to paint portraits, and, after a short stay in Germany, came to England in 1675 with a letter of introduction to Jonathan Banks, a rich merchant. Through him he was introduced to the Duke of Monmouth, whose portrait he painted, and in 1678 was given a sitting by Charles 11., whose portrait was being painted by Lely at the same time. His fortune was now made. He painted James II. and Louis XIV., but was, notwithstanding, knighted by William III. Among other sovereigns whose portraits were done by him were Queen Anne, Peter the Great, the Duke of Bavaria, and the Archduke Charles (afterwards Charles V.). George I. also sat to him, and created him a baronet. Other examples of his work are the Beauties, at Hampton Court, the Admirals, and the portraits of the Kit-Cat Club.