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KNELLER Sir Godfrey (b. 1646, Lbeck, d. 1723, London) Nationality : English

German-born painter (originally Gottfried Kniller) who settled in England and became the leading portraitist there in the late 17th century and early 18th century. He studied in Amsterdam under Bol, a pupil of Rembrandt, and later in Italy, before moving to England, probably in the mid 1670s. The opportune death of serious rivals (notably Lely in 1680) and his own arrogant self-assurance enabled him to establish himself as the dominant court and society painter by the beginning of the reign of James II (1685).

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