We recreated the portrait of the famous diarist Samuel Pepys, by John Hayls, for a short, comic sketch.
For his portrait, Samuel was dressed informally in brown silk Banyan which is open to reveal a linen shirt and loosely tied cravat. However, matching the silk proved difficult until I was directed to an American company, Burnley and Trowbridge, who were able to supply a silk that was a very close match. I looked at a number of contemporary portraits in order to understand the cut of the Banyan and was happy to go with a simple, but full, Japanese style of gown.
‘Saturday 17th March 1666
Up, and to finish my journal, which I had not sense enough the last nigh to make an end of, and thence to the office, where very busy all the morning. At noon home to dinner and presently with my wife to Hale’s, where I am still infinitely pleased with my wife’s picture. I paid him 14l. for it, and 25s for the frame, and I think it not a whit to deare for so good a picture. It is not quite yet finished and dry, so as to be fit to bring home yet. This day I began to sit, and he will make me, I think, a very find picture. He promises it shall be as good as my wife’s, and I sit to have it full of shadows, and do almost break my neck looking over my shoulder to make the posture for him to work by’.