Search the Collection

Sir Thomas More

(1478-1535), Lord Chancellor, classical scholar, author of 'Utopia' and canonized 1935

Sitter associated with 54 portraits
Humanist scholar and author of Utopia, which aimed to encourage the reform of English politics. The dialogues satirised European society and included the famous description of the newly discovered island of Utopia - a name derived from the Greek for 'nowhere'. The argument that statesmen need to adopt an indirect approach in order to steer policy, in a manner 'that adapts itself to the play in hand', is one of the defining precepts of humanist political philosophy. More became Henry VIII's Lord Chancellor in 1529. He opposed the King's divorce from Katherine of Aragon and refused to take the Oath of Supremacy, which acknowledged Henry as head of the Church of England. He was executed for treason in 1535 and canonised by the Catholic Church in 1935.

Watch a film clip on the sitter from the BBC Archive in the Media section below

List Thumbnail

Sir Thomas More, after Hans Holbein the Younger - NPG 4358

Sir Thomas More

after Hans Holbein the Younger
oil on panel, early 17th century (1527)
On display in Room 1 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 4358

Sir Thomas More, after Hans Holbein the Younger - NPG 306

Sir Thomas More

after Hans Holbein the Younger
oil on panel, (1527)
NPG 306

Sir Thomas More, his father, his household and his descendants, by Rowland Lockey, after  Hans Holbein the Younger - NPG 2765

Sir Thomas More, his father, his household and his descendants

by Rowland Lockey, after Hans Holbein the Younger
oil on canvas, circa 1593
NPG 2765

Sir Thomas More, after Hans Holbein the Younger - NPG D39011

Sir Thomas More

after Hans Holbein the Younger
albumen print, (circa 1527)
NPG D39011

Sir Thomas More, after Hans Holbein the Younger - NPG D39012

Sir Thomas More

after Hans Holbein the Younger
red tonal carbon print, (circa 1527)
NPG D39012

Sir Thomas More, his father, his household and his descendants, after Rowland Lockey, after  Hans Holbein the Younger - NPG D39014

Sir Thomas More, his father, his household and his descendants

after Rowland Lockey, after Hans Holbein the Younger
gelatin silver print, (1593-1594)
NPG D39014

Sir Thomas More, by Lucas Vorsterman - NPG D24946

Sir Thomas More

by Lucas Vorsterman
line engraving, probably 17th century
NPG D24946

Sir Thomas More, by Magdalena de Passe, or by  Willem de Passe - NPG D24948

Sir Thomas More

by Magdalena de Passe, or by Willem de Passe
line engraving, 1620
NPG D24948

John Fisher; Sir Thomas More, after Unknown artist - NPG D35485

John Fisher; Sir Thomas More

after Unknown artist
line engraving, mid 17th century
NPG D35485

Unknown man called Sir Thomas More, by Lucas Vorsterman, after  (Claude) Corneille de Lyon - NPG D9866

Unknown man called Sir Thomas More

by Lucas Vorsterman, after (Claude) Corneille de Lyon
etching, 1631
NPG D9866

Sir Thomas More, by Robert White - NPG D24947

Sir Thomas More

by Robert White
line engraving, 1681
NPG D24947

Sir Thomas More, by Pieter Stevens van Gunst, after  Adriaen van der Werff - NPG D24313

Sir Thomas More

by Pieter Stevens van Gunst, after Adriaen van der Werff
line engraving, 1697
NPG D24313

Sir Thomas More, by Pieter Stevens van Gunst, after  Adriaen van der Werff - NPG D39007

Sir Thomas More

by Pieter Stevens van Gunst, after Adriaen van der Werff
line engraving, 1697
NPG D39007

Sir Thomas More, by Pieter Stevens van Gunst, after  Adriaen van der Werff - NPG D18783

Sir Thomas More

by Pieter Stevens van Gunst, after Adriaen van der Werff
line engraving, 1697
NPG D18783

Sir Thomas More, after Unknown artist - NPG D24310

Sir Thomas More

after Unknown artist
line engraving, probably 18th century
NPG D24310

Sir Thomas More, by Unknown artist - NPG D39009

Sir Thomas More

by Unknown artist
line engraving, 18th century
NPG D39009

Sir Thomas More, by George Vertue, after  Hans Holbein the Younger - NPG D19798

Sir Thomas More

by George Vertue, after Hans Holbein the Younger
line engraving, engraved 1725
NPG D19798

Sir Thomas More, by Jacobus Houbraken, published by  John & Paul Knapton, after  Hans Holbein the Younger - NPG D39003

Sir Thomas More

by Jacobus Houbraken, published by John & Paul Knapton, after Hans Holbein the Younger
line engraving, published 1741
NPG D39003

Place

Media

Tell us moreback to top

Can you tell us more about this person? Spotted an error, information that is missing (a sitter’s life dates, occupation or family relationships, or a date of portrait for example) or do you know anything that we don't know? If you have information to share please complete the form below.

If you require information from us, please use our Archive enquiry service. If you wish to license an image, please use our Rights and Images service.

Please note that we cannot provide valuations.

We digitise over 8,000 portraits a year and we cannot guarantee being able to digitise images that are not already scheduled.

What can you tell us?close

There are occasions when we are unsure of the identity of a sitter or artist, their life dates, occupation or have not recorded their family relationships. Sometimes we have not recorded the date of a portrait. Do you have specialist knowledge or a particular interest about any aspect of the portrait or sitter or artist that you can share with us? We would welcome any information that adds to and enhances our information and understanding about a particular portrait, sitter or artist.

Citationclose

How do you know this? Please could you let us know your source of information.

* Permission to publish (Privacy information)
Privacy Informationclose

The National Portrait Gallery will NOT use your information to contact you or store for any other purpose than to investigate or display your contribution. By ticking permission to publish you are indicating your agreement for your contribution to be shown on this collection item page. Please note your email address will not be displayed on the page nor will it be used for any marketing material or promotion of any kind.

Please ensure your comments are relevant and appropriate. Your contributions must be polite and with no intention of causing trouble. All contributions are moderated.

Your nameclose

If you tick permission to publish your name will appear above your contribution on our website.

Your Emailclose

Contributions are moderated. We'll need your email address so that we can follow up on the information provided and contact you to let you know when your contribution has been published.