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Kelley Portrait
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adammclean
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 Posted: Tue Dec 31st, 2013 07:24 am
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One of my contacts, Ron Heisler, has sent me a press cutting from the Antiques Trade Gazette for 22nd June 2013 about the sale at auction of a 17th century portrait of Edward Kelley. This was held at Mellors and Kirk's auctions in Nottingham on June 12-13th, where it fetched the modest sum of £7500. It is likely to be the only oil painting of Kelley from the 17th century. It appears not to have been made from life but is rather based on the engraving in Meric Casaubon's True and Faithful Relation from 1659.

The painting is massive being 8 feet (2.49m) wide and was made on a series of wooden planks. It appears that much of the paint may have eroded from the wooden support. Apparently before it found its way to auction it lay neglected in a stable in Warwickshire then later in a coachhouse in Mid Wales, being rescued from there sometime in last ten years or so.

It is amazing that items such as this can still emerge from obscurity.

Attached Image (viewed 228 times):

Edward Kelly small.jpg

adammclean
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 Posted: Tue Dec 31st, 2013 07:31 am
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I just found a slightly better quality image.

Attached Image (viewed 259 times):

Edward Kelley portrait 2.jpg

Last edited on Tue Dec 31st, 2013 07:33 am by adammclean

Paul Ferguson
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 Posted: Tue Dec 31st, 2013 07:31 am
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Some interesting comments here:

http://nick-farrell.blogspot.com/2013/08/painting-of-edward-kelly-turns-up-at.html

adammclean
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 Posted: Tue Dec 31st, 2013 07:34 am
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It is not quite clear to me what is being depicted under the arched area on the right.

Paul Ferguson
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 Posted: Tue Dec 31st, 2013 07:43 am
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adammclean wrote:
It is not quite clear to me what is being depicted under the arched area on the right.

I've just looked at it in Paint and it looks like a group of mostly cowled figures gazing down at a coffin with the letters EL something-or-other on the lid.

adammclean
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 Posted: Tue Dec 31st, 2013 07:49 am
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In the centre of this area there appears to be a depiction of a small Christ on the Cross somewhat above the coffin like form, or is this just an artefact of the poor quality photograph?

Perhaps in time the present owner might be able to make better quality photographs available. The painting seems rather undervalued at 7500 UK pounds as I am sure it would fetch many times that figure from people with an esoteric agenda.

adammclean
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 Posted: Tue Dec 31st, 2013 07:54 am
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I find myself agreeing with Nick Farrell that this portrait is presenting Kelley as a magician rather than alchemist. There would appear from the poor quality photographs to be no obvious alchemical elements to the composition.

Nick Farrell notes the figure in red standing in a little circle on the floor just outside the arched area, suggesting that it is a magician summoning something in a magic circle.

Last edited on Tue Dec 31st, 2013 07:57 am by adammclean

Paul Ferguson
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 Posted: Tue Dec 31st, 2013 07:54 am
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adammclean wrote:
In the centre of this area there appears to be a depiction of a small Christ on the Cross somewhat above the coffin like form, or is this just an artefact of the poor quality photograph?

Perhaps in time the present owner might be able to make better quality photographs available. The painting seems rather undervalued at 7500 UK pounds as I am sure it would fetch many times that figure from people with an esoteric agenda.


This might be of some use:

http://www160.lunapic.com/editor/?action=zoom&dozoom=in

Paul Ferguson
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 Posted: Tue Dec 31st, 2013 09:07 am
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adammclean wrote:
It is not quite clear to me what is being depicted under the arched area on the right.

Is that an angel in a claret skirt and olive top facing leftwards with wings to the right and bearing something away?

adammclean
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 Posted: Thu Jan 2nd, 2014 07:51 am
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The left side of the painting presents Kelley in his study with a globe to the left. He is seated at a lectern on which two open books are shown. In the background is a classical column. The intention of the artist in this part of the painting would appear to be to show Kelley as a scholar.

The arched area on the left is more obscure. Through the imagery in this area something is being added to the depiction of Kelley. What this additional perspective could be will remain obscure until we find better quality images of this part of the painting. Sadly it appears that the resolution of the available photograph is not readable in an unambiguous way.


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