Peter Paul Lens

Circa 1740


This small well-modelled full-face portrait is typical of the work of Peter Paul Lens and shows a professional gentleman in a collarless tan coat, white stock and powdered short bob wig.

Peter Paul was the younger son of the miniaturist, Bernard Lens III. Born around 1714, he led an eccentric life. As a prominent member of the notorious Dublin-based Blasters Club, he participated in gambling, duelling, whisky drinking, debauchery and pseudo-Satanic worship, the Club leader being dubbed the ‘King of Hell’. But when the authorities began to investigate and issue warrants for the arrest of the club’s members, Lens fled back to England in 1738. He then married a lady named Elizabeth and in 1745 they had a son, Samuel Reubens. Peter Paul did not though mend his wicked ways as evidenced by the terms of his father’s will whereby he was bequeathed ‘One Shilling and no more’ as he had ‘for a long time past behaved himself with great Disrespect Disobedience and Undutifullness’ towards his parents.

In fine condition, the portrait is set in the original gold bracelet-style frame with the later addition of a brass clip for hanging.
APHA Registered

Item Ref. 9052M

Size: framed, 38 x 31mm + hanger

Provenance: D.S. Lavender ; Private UK Collection