E74300 PORTRAIT OF A LADY WEARING A YELLOW DRESS BELIEVED TO BE MRS ALEXANDER GUTHRIE ATTRIBUTED TO SIR JOHN BAPTIST DE MEDINA 1659-1710 Label verso Oil on canvas 30 x 25 inches Framed size 36 x 31 inches
Sir John Baptist Medina or John Baptiste de Medina was born in Brussels, son of Medina de Caustanais a Spanish officer from a wealthy family. He went onto study in Brussels under Francois Duchatel. At a young age he married Joanna Maria Van Dael and moved to London circa 1686. There he was influenced by Kneller and established a successful portrait practice, charging £4 for a head and £8 for a half- length. He illustrated for Ovid’s Metamorphoses and Milton’s Paradise Lost the latter published by Jacob Tonson. Medina attracted the patronage of the Earl of Melville (later Earl of Leven) and painted at least 15 portraits. The Earl is said to have offered him work to the sum of £500 to go to Scotland.In the Winter of 1693-4 Medina went to Edinburgh and according to Vertue, took ‘many postures for heads, he draperys painted- only to put the faces to them’. There he met considerable success raising his prices from £5 to £10 and enjoying the sort of reputation in Scotland that Kneller had in England. His works often included rich red and blue draperies and his later works were less formal and more loosely and confidently painted.Medina was Knighted in 1707. He died in Edinburgh on 5 October 1710 and is buried on the North side of Grey Friars Church yard. His estate was valued at £14,000 Scots.Among his pupils were Aikman and his son, John Medina who carried on his fathers practice after his death in 1710. Works Represented: Scottish National Portrait Gallery; Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh; Tyninghame; Alloa House; Penicuik House; RI School of Design; Blair Castle, Tayside.
Bibl: Portrait Painters – Brian Stewart & Mervyn Cutten
Provenance: Daniel Shackleton, Edinburgh
This painting illustrates a compositional device often used by De Medina where the foliage of the tree overhangs the head of the sitter.When compared with Medina’s later works from 1700 to 1710 there is the same broadness of brushwork.