LENS, PETER PAUL

(fl. 1737-1747)

Miniature Painter

From A Dictionary of Irish Artists 1913

Was son of Bernard Lens, miniature painter, and brother of Andrew Benjamin Lens, also a miniature painter. He came to Dublin in, or shortly before, 1737, and was a prominent member of the "Blasters," a club of a similar character to the notorious Hell-Fire Club. The club was the subject of a report by a Committee of the House of Lords in March, 1738, when it was stated that "several loose and disorderly persons have of late erected themselves into a society or club under the name of Blasters, and have used means to draw into this impious society several of the youth of this kingdom"; and that "Peter Lens, lately come into this kingdom, professes himself a Blaster and a votary of the devil, and that he hath offered up prayers to him and publicly drunk to the devil's health, and that he hath several times uttered the most daring and execrable blasphemies." It was ordered that he be prosecuted, and warrants were issued for his arrest. He left Dublin and was pursued through various parts of the country, but he managed to evade capture and got safely over to England. He subsequently followed his profession as a miniature painter in London, where he was living at least as late as 1747. The following miniatures by him have been met with:

Robert Boyle. Lent to the Burlington Fine Arts Club in 1889 by G. T. Read.

Lady Catherine De la Poer, wife of Sir Marcus Beresford. Signed P. Lens, 1737. Belonged to the late Miss Cane, 14 Clyde Road, Dublin.

Elizabeth Grenville, wife of 2nd Lord Guilford. Signed P.L. Lent to S. K. Exhibition, 1865, by Colonel North, M.P.

Richard Hall. [Duke of Portland.]

Richard Steele. [Duke of Portland.]

W. Osbaldeston. [Victoria and Albert Museum.]

Marchioness Townshend. Lent to S. K. Exhibition, 1868, by the Marquess Townshend.

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