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Yuko Nii Foundation acquires 17th C. portrait of John Milton

 

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Miniature Water Color Portrait of John Milton, Poet & Defender of Freedom, 17th Century or Later

 

This pleasant looking miniature painting on ivory of a curly reddish brown haired man is similar to an original portrait of John Milton now in the possession of the Morgan Library. This is one of the handsomest paintings of Milton I have ever seen. It shows him at the time of the full flower of his poetic genius. We will display it with several other Milton portraits in our collection in December to celebrate Milton's birthday and the opening of our Edwardian reading room in our national landmark building along with three 17th century copies of Paradise Lost. Terrance Lindall

 

The following is copied from the Morgan description of their portrait. 

"This portrait of a middle-aged man, costumed in a black buttoned vest, black gown, square white collar tied with strings and having two tassels below, is believed to depict John Milton at forty-eight years of age. According to John Aubrey, an early biographer of Milton, the poet's long hair was "abroun" or "reddish," and his "complexion exceeding fayre." This miniature may have been given by Milton to his second wife, Katherine Woodcock, whom he married in November 1656. She gave birth to a daughter in October 1657, but both mother and child died the following year. Woodcock is commemorated in Sonnet 23 as "my late espousèd saint." The miniature was bequeathed to Woodcock's niece and was handed down in direct succession through the Woodcock family."