1 of 46 portraits of Thomas Cranmer
by Gerlach Flicke
oil on panel, 1545-1546
38 3/4 in. x 30 in. (984 mm x 762 mm)
Transferred from British Museum, 1879
Click on the links below to find out more:
Sitterback to top
- Thomas Cranmer (1489-1556), Archbishop of Canterbury. Sitter associated with 46 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Gerlach Flicke (active 1545-died 1558), Painter. Artist associated with 7 portraits, Sitter in 1 portrait.
This portraitback to top
Cranmer holds the Epistles of St Paul, and on the table are two books, one of which appears to be St Augustine's Of faith and works. This portrait was painted by the German artist Gerlach Flicke, who was working in England between 1545 and 1558. Recent analysis using infrared reflectography has revealed that several changes were made to the composition during both the planning stages and the painting process. The same technique also revealed the word 'rot' (the German for red) written beneath the paint layers on the red cushion at the lower right of the painting and three areas of broken glass in the window behind Cranmer which are probably symbolic, but whose exact meaning is now unclear.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Audio Guide
- Tudor Portraits Resource Pack, p. 14
- Bolland, Charlotte; Cooper, Tarnya, The Real Tudors: Kings and Queens Rediscovered, 2014 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 12th September 2014 to 1st March 2015), p. 67
- Cooper, John, Visitor's Guide, 2000, p. 19
- Cooper, Tarnya; Fraser, Antonia (foreword), A Guide to Tudor and Jacobean Portraits, 2012, p. 43
- Gittings, Clare, The National Portrait Gallery Book of The Tudors, 2006, p. 19
- John Cooper, National Portrait Gallery Visitor's Guide, 2006, p. 19
- MacLeod, Catharine, Tudor Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery Collection, 1996, p. 14
- Piper, David, The English Face, 1992, p. 42
- Saumarez Smith, Charles, The National Portrait Gallery: An Illustrated Guide, 2000, p. 34
- Saumarez Smith, Charles, The National Portrait Gallery, 1997, p. 34
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 151
- Schama, Simon, The Face of Britain: The Nation Through its Portraits, 2015-09-15, p. 353
- Strong, Roy, Tudor and Jacobean Portraits, 1969, p. 54
- Various contributors, National Portrait Gallery: A Portrait of Britain, 2014, p. 38
Subjects & Themesback to top
Events of 1545back to top
Current affairsThe French fleet makes an invasion attempt on England. The pride of the English fleet, the Mary Rose warship is sunk during the engagement with the French, killing over seven hundred men.
Art and scienceThe artist John Bettes the Elder paints A Man in a Black Cap. The artist's nationality is emphasized in the inscription faict par Johan Bettes Anglois (made by John Bettes, Englishman).The Dutch artist William Scrots arrives in England and becomes the principal court painter. The first botanical garden in Europe is established in the University of Padua.
InternationalThe Council of Trent convenes. Summoned by Pope Paul III and running until 1563, the council reasserts the doctrines of the Catholic Church in answer to the Protestant Reformation. It is one of the principal events of the Counter-Reformation.
See this portrait
On display in Room 1 at the National Portrait Gallery