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Unknown man, formerly known as Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk

1 of 17 portraits of Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk

Unknown man, formerly known as Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk, by Unknown artist, circa 1560 - NPG 1732 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Unknown man, formerly known as Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk

by Unknown artist
oil on panel, circa 1560
21 3/8 in. x 16 in. (543 mm x 406 mm)
Purchased, 1914
Primary Collection
NPG 1732


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This painting was originally purchased by the National Portrait Gallery as a portrait of Thomas Howard, a nobleman who was executed as a traitor in 1572. However, the likeness does not closely resemble any known portraits of Norfolk. A painted inscription identifying the sitter as Norfolk on the back of the panel probably dates from the eighteenth or nineteenth century.
Microscopic examination of this portrait has revealed extensive retouching and very little of the original paint surface now remains. The condition of the portrait and the lack of any further information make it impossible to identify this sitter but he is likely to be a nobleman or a wealthy member of the gentry.

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Cooper, Tarnya (introduction) Banville, John (character sketch) Chevalier, Tracy (character sketch) Fellowes, Julian (character sketch) McCall Smith, Alexander (character sketch) Pratchett, Terry (character sketch) Singleton, Sarah (character sketch) Trollope, Joanna (character sketch) Waters, Minette (character sketch), Imagined Lives: Portraits of Unknown People, 2011 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from December 2011 - June 2012), p. 35
  • Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 689
  • Strong, Roy, Tudor and Jacobean Portraits, 1969, p. 233

Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top