William I Blathwayt (?1649-1717)
Michael Dahl (Stockholm 1656/9 – London 1743)
William I Blathwayt was a diplomat and politician under the later Stuarts and William of Orange. He inherited Dyrham Park through his wife, Mary Wynter (1650–1694), whom he married in 1686. He commissioned architects to transform the property, and founded the collection of paintings at Dyrham. As a young man, Blathwayt was Secretary to the British Ambassador at The Hague, Sir William Temple (1628–1699), and Dutch paintings formed an important part of Blathwayt’s collection. Among his other posts, Blathwayt was also Clerk of the Privy Council (1686–1714), Member of the Board of Trade (1696–1707), Surveyor and Auditor-General of Plantation Revenues (1680–1717), and Secretary at War (1683–1704). He was also Member of Parliament for Newton, Isle of Wight (1685–1689) and for Bath (1693–1710).
Oil painting on canvas, William I Blathwayt (?1649-1717), attributed to Michael Dahl (Stockholm 1656 – London 1743), inscribed with the name of the sitter and his posts on the plinth at the lower left, circa 1689-91. A three-quarter-length portrait, standing, turned slightly to the right, facing the viewer. The middle-aged sitter wears a brown coat with gold frogging, a white shirt and necktie, and a long wig, with a blue cloak draped around him. His right hand is placed on the plinth at the left.
Presumably painted for William I Blathwayt (?1649-1717); thence by descent; purchased by the Ministry of Works through the National Land Fund and transferred to the National Trust for Dyrham Park in 1956.
Dyrham Park, The Blathwayt Collection (acquired by the Ministry of Works via the National Land Fund in 1956, and transferred to the National Trust)
Marks and inscriptions
On the plinth, lower left: No.1 The Rt Hon / William Blathwayt Esqr. Secretary at War. / Secretary of State to KG: WM Com.r for Trade / & Plantations. Clerk of the Privy Council. in ye Reigns / of KG: Ch:II Ia: II Wm Anne. obt.1717
Makers and roles
Michael Dahl (Stockholm 1656/9 – London 1743), artist
Scholars of Nature: The Collecting of Dutch Paintings in Britain 1610-1857, (ed. Christopher Brown), exh. cat., Ferens Art Gallery, Hull, 1981, no.8