Enoch Seeman (1694-1745)
Born to a family of Polish painters, and named after this father, Enoch Seeman the Younger was destined for life as an artist. Influenced by portrait artists such as Godfrey Kneller, Van Dyck, and Rembrandt; Seeman’s portraiture in oils still to this day possess an intensity of emotion and grandeur that evoke a sense of connection between the subject and their audience.
Setting up shop in the artists district of St. Martins Lane, Seeman Junior worked cheaply, to quickly grow his ever expanding portfolio. From a humble family portrait of the Bisset family in 1708, Seeman’s reputation quickly grew, and by 1717 was commissioned to paint King George I. Many years later, Enoch’s skills were again called upon by the Royal family to paint King George II in 1930.
There has been thought that Enoch Seeman’s level of capturing detail in the face of his sitters were less accomplished than his counterparts of the time. However this reservation to portray some detail became a technique, if you like, by which his work was recognized and appreciated. The large scale of his portraits are eye catching, and his confident use of bold hues and deep tonal values create a beautiful atmosphere within each portrait, becoming another trade mark of his work. If anything, his royal commissions proved his demand and talent as an artist. His works now hang in places such as in Middle Temple in London, Windsor Castle, Virginia Historical Society, Yale University’s Art Gallery, New Yorks Metropolitan Museum, and the National Portrait Gallery in London among many more notable galleries.
The Antique Guild is proud to host a painting by Enoch Seeman; a portrait completed in 1733 of John Baines, Sergeant-at-Law. Measuring 152cm high by 127cm wide, this oil on canvas displays the trademark Seeman choice of hue and suggestive tonal value. Not only does this impressive canvas impose the grandeur of Sergeant John Baines, but reflects the unique and extroverted character that was Enoch Seeman.
Written by Tahn Parr.