circle of Henrick Danckerts, Perihelion

Photo courtesy of Dave Penman (All rights reserved)


Country House
Doddington Hall
? c.1675
Stairs Leading To Second Floor And Landing
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
Overall height: 60 cm, Overall width: 91 cm
circle of Henrick Danckerts (c.1625-1680)
Catalogue Number


The picture was formerly in the collection of the Gunman family and came to Doddington in the early nineteenth century on the marriage of Sarah Hussey Delaval to James Gunman. It was commissioned by Captain Christopher Gunman (1634–1685). The painting’s title refers to the optical phenomenon known as the ‘parhelic circle’ (also known as ‘sun dogs’), light sources that appear either side of the sun – with reference to the apparent three suns in the paintings. Gunman observed the effect from the royal yacht Mary, when it was moored at Boulogne. He described it in his journal, now at Doddington Hall, as a ‘Perihelion’. Oliver Millar, during a visit he made to Doddington in 1952, was referring presumably to the present picture when he noted, ‘Harbour Scene: large picturesque canvas, remotely in the manner of Weenix, presumably painted in England, c.1675; not far from Danckerts.’1

Hendrick Danckerts (1625–1680) was born and trained in The Hague. He travelled to Italy before moving to England in the 1660s, where he gained royal patronage from Charles II and James I. He specialised in landscapes, maritime paintings and harbour scenes.

by Martin Postle


  1. Oliver Millar, Notebook VIII, 191–2, Paul Mellon Centre Collection.


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