Sir Edward Hoby

1 portrait on display in Room 3 at Montacute House

Sir Edward Hoby, by Unknown Anglo-Netherlandish artist, 1583 - NPG 1974 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Sir Edward Hoby

by Unknown Anglo-Netherlandish artist
oil on panel, 1583
37 1/2 in. x 29 3/4 in. (953 mm x 756 mm)
Purchased, 1923
Primary Collection
NPG 1974


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Sitterback to top

  • Sir Edward Hoby (1560-1617), Scholar and favourite of James I. Sitter in 1 portrait.

Artistback to top

This portraitback to top

Dendrochronology (tree-ring dating) has indicated that the tree used for this panel was felled some time after 1579, and derives from the Eastern Baltic. This tells us that the wood was put to use as a panel very soon after it was imported. Hoby's baton, lower left, is inscribed with a motto which can be translated 'anger without strength is vain'. The mysterious inset scene at the top right shows a woman standing in front of a castle and holding a scroll or banner on which is written 'RECONDUTUR NO RETUDUTUR', which can be translated as 'laid aside but not blunted'. In front of her is a pile of discarded weapons and military trophies with a veil over them. Painted a year after Hoby's marriage the allegory probably refers to a break from his military career.

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Cooper, Tarnya; Fraser, Antonia (foreword), A Guide to Tudor and Jacobean Portraits, 2012, p. 21
  • MacLeod, Catherine, Tudor and Jacobean Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery Collection at Montacute House, 1999, p. 21
  • Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 306
  • Strong, Roy, Tudor and Jacobean Portraits, 1969, p. 168

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