Saturday 5 September 1668

Up, and at the office all the morning. At noon home to dinner, and to the office to work all the afternoon again till the evening, and then by coach to Mr. Hales’s new house, where, I find, he hath finished my wife’s hand, which is better than the other; and here I find Harris’s picture, done in his habit of “Henry the Fifth;” mighty like a player, but I do not think the picture near so good as any yet he hath made for me: however, it is pretty well, and thence through the fair home, but saw nothing, it being late, and so home to my business at the office, and thence to supper and to bed.

5 Annotations

Terry Foreman  •  Link

"Harris's picture, done in his habit of "Henry the Fifth;" "

Perhaps the "habit" like this: King Henry V © National Portrait Gallery, London…

But also "Charles II lent his coronation robes to Betterton for Davenant's Love and Honour...; the royal loan was repeated for Orrery's Henry V "…

Charles II in his coronation robes…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

L&M say the portrait of Harris is untraced.

Mary  •  Link

"which is better than the other"

I'm not sure whether Sam implies that the portrait will show Elizabeth with one 'good' hand and one other 'not so good hand" or whether 'the other' is the first version of her hand, which has now been repainted.

I don't know what the 17th century scale of fees for portraiture was, but these days a commission that includes the subject's hands tends to cost quite a bit more than one in which they do not appear.

JWB  •  Link

Hayls's rendering of Sam's one hand is ackward too.

cgs  •  Link

Feet, hands and visage are the key to a good canvas, in that order.
So hide the feet in leather and hide the hands or tuck under the blouse.
All thumbs?

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