Daniel Parke
Original Author: John Closterman
Created: Early eighteenth century
Medium: Oil on canvas
Publisher: Virginia Historical Society

Daniel Parke

Elegantly arrayed and wearing a miniature portrait of Queen Anne around his neck, Daniel Parke poses for a three-quarter-length oil portrait by the artist John Closterman sometime around 1705. Parke served as one of the aides-de-camp for John Churchill, duke of Marlborough, during his victory at the Battle of Blenheim in August 1704, and then conveyed the good news to the monarch. As a reward, Parke was given the queen's portrait; in addition, he was appointed chief governor of the Leeward Islands. The Dutch, who had allied themselves with the English, also rewarded Parke, giving him the most prominent of the medals seen in the left foreground. The artist included firing cannon in the background to represent the battle itself.

This portrait was owned by William Byrd II, who married Parke's daughter Lucy. Byrd displayed the painting at his James River estate, Westover, probably as early as 1706, the year he married Lucy Parke. According to the Virginia Historical Society, "it was one of the most spectacular paintings to hang in an American collection" at that early date.