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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

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The Family of Sir Thomas More, by Thomas Anthony Dean, published by  William Pickering, after  Hans Holbein the Younger - NPG D24316

The Family of Sir Thomas More

by Thomas Anthony Dean, published by William Pickering, after Hans Holbein the Younger
stipple engraving, published 1829
NPG D24316

Sir Thomas More, by Gaspar Sensi, supervised by  José de Madrazo y Agudo, printed by  Real Establecimiento Litográfico, after  Sir Peter Paul Rubens, after  Hans Holbein the Younger - NPG D39010

Sir Thomas More

by Gaspar Sensi, supervised by José de Madrazo y Agudo, printed by Real Establecimiento Litográfico, after Sir Peter Paul Rubens, after Hans Holbein the Younger
lithograph, circa 1830s
NPG D39010

Sir Thomas More, after Hans Holbein the Younger - NPG D38963

Sir Thomas More

after Hans Holbein the Younger
chromolithograph, 1978 or before (circa 1526)
NPG D38963

Web image not currently available

Sir Thomas More

by Samuel Taylor, after Hans Holbein the Younger
mezzotint, (circa 1525-1550)
NPG D19004

Web image not currently available

Sir Thomas More

by Renold or Reginold Elstrack (Elstracke), published by Compton Holland
line engraving, published circa 1618-1619
NPG D19782

Web image not currently available

Sir Thomas More

possibly by Crispijn de Passe the Elder, after Hans Holbein the Younger
line engraving, 1620
NPG D19185

Web image not currently available

Sir Thomas More

by Jacobus Houbraken, after Hans Holbein the Younger
line engraving, 1740
NPG D19687

Web image not currently available

Sir Thomas More

by Jacobus Houbraken, published by John & Paul Knapton, after Hans Holbein the Younger
line engraving, published 1741 (1740)
NPG D42916

Web image not currently available

'Family of Sir Thomas More'

by Christian von Mechel, after Hans Holbein the Younger
aquatint, 1794
NPG D19085

Web image not currently available

Sir Thomas More

by Unknown artist
watercolour with bodycolour and gold paint, 19th century
NPG D6517

Web image not currently available

Sir Thomas More

by George Perfect Harding
pen and ink and wash, 1802-1853
NPG D6516

Image currently unavailable owing to copyright restrictions

Sir Thomas More

after Hans Holbein the Younger
chromolithograph, late 20th century (circa 1526)
NPG D39001

Image currently unavailable owing to copyright restrictions

Sir Thomas More

after Hans Holbein the Younger
chromolithograph, late 20th century (circa 1527)
NPG D39002

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Media

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