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Title Abbe Rene Aubert de Vertot
Collection Museum of the Order of St John, St John Ambulance, London
Artist Attributed to French School
Date Earliest possibly about 1730
Date Latest possibly about 1730
Description Abbe Vertot was appointed historian to the Order by Grand Master Perellos in 1715 and nominated to the Priory of Santenay by the Grand Prior of France, the Chevalier d'Orleans. His Histoire des Chevaliers Hospitaliers de St. Jean de Herusalem, published in 1726, was as popular as it was inaccurate. He is notoriously said to have turned down material on the Siege of Rhodes with the remark: 'J'ai fait mon siege'. Vertot's iconography is based mainly on a portrait type by Jacques-Francois Delyn (1684-1761), of which this painting may be a version. An engraved portrait by Laurent Cars, also after Delyen, appears as the frontispiece to Histoire des Chevaliers Hospitaliers.
Current Accession Number LDOSJ:1735
Subject portrait (Abbe Rene Aubert de Vertot)
Measurements 61 x 47 cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Given by Katharine Lady Lechmere 1900.
Principal Exhibitions Malte, Huit Siecles d'Histoire, Versailles, 1961, cat. no. 103.
Notes Lady Louisa Katharine Lechmere; Dame Chevaliere 1865. Alongside her husband, Sir Edmund Lechmere, she made several visits to the Holy Land and wrote extensive reports for the Order on the state of medical provision in Jerusalem and in the British Ophthalmic Hospital. Died in 1904; 'Katharine, Lady Lechmere's, loss will be deeply felt by the Order and its Almoner's Department, and more especially by the British Ophthalmic Hospital. As is well known, the late Sir Edmund and Lady Lechmere were the original movers in the institution of this foundation of the Order, and both, to the last days of their lives, ever displayed the most practical and liberal interest in its development and progress...The large silver processional cross, bequeathed to the Order by Lady Lechmere, is of exceptional interest, as there appears some ground for a suggestion that this may have belonged to Sir Robert Mallory, Lord Prior of Clerkenwell, whose armorial bearings are depicted on the shield.' Annual Report 1904, p. 11.
Rights Owner Museum of the Order of St John
Author Malcolm Barclay




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