Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Dwarf Gibson

Besides Sir Jeffrey, there was another famous dwarf at the court of Charles I and Henrietta Maria. Richard Gibson, the artist, was Page of the Back Stairs to Charles I. From Wikipedia:
Gibson was appointed "Page of the Back Stairs" under Charles I. During the English Civil War Gibson stayed in London with Pembroke, and thus became associated with the Parliamentary faction. By the 1650s Gibson appears to have been closely linked to Charles Dormer, 2nd Earl of Carnarvon, grandson of the Earl of Pembroke.[2] During Cromwell's regime he remained active as a painter at the Protector's court. However, Gibson's patrons in the 1650s are typically Royalists, but generally of the faction that had been supporters of parliament early in the war.[2]

His association with Cromwell did not affect his career under Charles II. Gibson was employed as drawing-master to Princess Mary and Princess Anne, the daughters of Charles' brother James (later King James II). He went with Mary to the Netherlands for her marriage to William of Orange in 1677. He came back to England in 1688 when William and Mary became monarchs after the overthrow of James II.

Gibson married Anne Shepherd, who was known as the "queen's dwarf", as she was in the service of Queen Henrietta Maria. The couple were both said to be 3 ft 10 inches tall. The wedding was held at court, and the bride was given away by King Charles I. The event was the occasion of a poem by Edmund Waller, in which the pair are described as literally made for each other ("Design or chance make others wive, / But nature did this match contrive").

The couple had nine children, of whom three became successful painters. The best known of these was Gibson's daughter Susan, who also worked as a miniature painter, using her married name of Susan Penelope Rosse.[3] All the Gibson children were of typical size. (Read more.)
By Peter Lely

 More HERE and HERE.


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