Sir Thomas Chaloner

1 portrait on display in Room 2 at the National Portrait Gallery

Sir Thomas Chaloner, by Unknown Flemish artist, 1559 - NPG 2445 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Sir Thomas Chaloner

by Unknown Flemish artist
oil on panel, 1559
28 in. x 21 1/2 in. (711 mm x 546 mm)
Purchased, 1929
Primary Collection
NPG 2445


Click on the links below to find out more:

Sitterback to top

Artistback to top

This portraitback to top

This unusual portrait shows Chaloner in contemplation of the brevity of human life. He holds a pair of scales in his right hand which are weighted on the side of the blazing book (a symbol of intellect and learning) against the riches of the world, shown on the other side. He is also clicking the fingers of his left hand to emphasise that life passes as quickly as a finger snap. The Latin inscription refers to Sardanapalus, the legendary exemplum of the vice of intemperance. Conservation of this frame has been supported by Sir Simon and Lady Robertson.

Related worksback to top

Linked publicationsback to top

Events of 1559back to top

Current affairs

Queen Elizabeth I rejects a marriage proposal from Philip II of Spain; a proposal from Charles Archduke of Austria is also declined. Elizabeth I is crowned at Westminster Abbey. Acts of Supremacy and Uniformity approve a new religious settlement reinstating the Protestant faith and introducing the Elizabethan Prayer Book. Matthew Parker becomes Archbishop of Canterbury

Art and science

The Italian anatomist Matteo Realdo Colombo publishes De re anatomica (On Things Anatomical), in which he describes the pulmonary circulation of blood.

International

Mary Queen of Scots becomes Queen of France when her husband Francis II succeeds to the French throne. Scottish Protestants under John Knox rebel against Queen Mary. Monasteries are sacked and royal tombs desecrated. The Treaty of Cateau-Cambrésis ends the war between France, Spain and England. Spain is confirmed as the dominant power in Italy.

Tell us moreback to top

Can you tell us more about this portrait? 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 this 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.