Thomas Howard, 14th Earl of Arundel

1 portrait

Thomas Howard, 14th Earl of Arundel, by Sir Peter Paul Rubens, 1629 - NPG 2391 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Thomas Howard, 14th Earl of Arundel

by Sir Peter Paul Rubens
oil on canvas, 1629
27 in. x 21 in. (686 mm x 533 mm)
Purchased, 1929
Primary Collection
NPG 2391

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Artistback to top

  • Sir Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640), Painter. Artist associated with 40 portraits, Sitter associated with 13 portraits.

This portraitback to top

This magnificent portrait of the Earl of Arundel shows him not only as a connoisseur- he acquired one of the most important seventeenth-century collections of painting and sculpture, but also with a certain braggadocio, as befitted his status as Earl Marshal. It was painted in 1629, when Rubens came to London as an emissary of Philip IV of Spain, and was a study for a larger three-quarter length portrait of him (now in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, Massachusetts). As a sketch it has an exceptional liveliness in its characterisation of a man with a worldly and perhaps slightly cynical mind.

Related worksback to top

  • NPG D19370: Thomas Howard, 14th Earl of Arundel (after)
  • NPG D17391: Thomas Howard, 14th Earl of Arundel (after)

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Events of 1629back to top

Current affairs

In Parliament, opponents of Charles I issue a protestation condemning his policies; Charles subsequently orders the Speaker, Sir John Finch, to adjourn Parliament, and after much turmoil, the House is dissolved. Charles I would now govern for eleven years without recourse to Parliament, known as his Personal Rule.

Art and science

Apothcary and herbalist, John Parkinson publishes Paradisi in sole paradisus terrestris, the first published book on British gardening, describing over 1000 plants. In dedicating it to the queen, Henrietta Maria, Parkinson is given the title, botanicus regius primarius by Charles I.


Philip IV of Spain sends Dutch painter, Sir Peter Paul Rubens as an emissary to open peace negotiations with England. His mission is hailed a success by both countries. While in England he painted several portraits, including Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel. The Treaty of Suza ends the Anglo-French conflict.

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