John Bourchier, 2nd Baron Berners

1 portrait

John Bourchier, 2nd Baron Berners, by Unknown Netherlandish artist, circa 1520-1530 - NPG 4953 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

John Bourchier, 2nd Baron Berners

by Unknown Netherlandish artist
oil on panel, circa 1520-1530
19 1/2 in. x 15 1/2 in. (495 mm x 394 mm)
Purchased with help from The Art Fund and H.M. Government, 1973
Primary Collection
NPG 4953


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Lord Berners served Henry VIII as Chancellor of the Exchequer, assisted in the negotiations for an alliance with Spain two years later, and attended the king at the Field of the Cloth of Gold in 1520. While serving as Lord Deputy of Calais he devoted his leisure hours, at Henry's suggestion, to translating the French historian Froissart's Chronicles. This portrait, which so perceptively characterises this able and cultivated man, was almost certainly painted by a Flemish artist during Berners' residence in Calais, and is a rare early example of an Englishman sitting for his portrait while abroad. The significance of the fruit, thought to be an apple, which Berners holds has yet to be discovered.

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