Gerlach Flicke; Henry Strangwish (Strangways)

1 portrait of Gerlach Flicke

Gerlach Flicke; Henry Strangwish (Strangways), by Gerlach Flicke, 1554 - NPG 6353 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Gerlach Flicke; Henry Strangwish (Strangways)

by Gerlach Flicke
diptych, oil on paper or vellum laid on panel, 1554
3 1/2 in. x 4 3/4 in. (88 mm x 119 mm)
Purchased, 1996
Primary Collection
NPG 6353


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Sittersback to top

Artistback to top

  • Gerlach Flicke (active 1545-died 1558), Painter. Artist associated with 7 portraits, Sitter in 1 portrait.

This portraitback to top

This is the earliest known oil self-portrait produced in England. It was produced when both men were in prison, probably the Tower of London. Strangwish was imprisoned for his piracy, but the nature of Flicke's crime is not known. The English inscription above Strangwish, shown holding a lute, reads: 'Strangwish, thus strangely depicted is One prisoner, for thother, hath done this/ Gerlin, hath garnisht, for his delight This woorck whiche you se, before youre sight'. The Latin inscription above Flicke, who is shown holding his palette, can be translated: 'Such was the face of Gerlach Flicke when he was a painter in the City of London. This he himself painted from a looking-glass for his dear friends. That they might have something by which to remember him after his death.'

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Events of 1554back to top

Current affairs

Sir Thomas Wyatt the Younger leads a rebellion against the Catholic Queen Mary. 4,000 men march from Kent to London, where the rebellion is crushed and Wyatt executed. Princess Elizabeth is imprisoned in the Tower of London, but found innocent of treason. Lady Jane Grey is executed. Queen Mary I marries Philip of Spain at Winchester. Parliament passes the Second Act of Repeal reuniting the English and Roman Catholic Churches.

Art and science

Gerlach Flicke paints the earliest surviving self-portrait in oils produced in England. The Italian architect Andrea Palladio published L'Antichita di Roma (The Antiquities of Rome), which remains the standard text on the subject for 300 years.

International

Battle of Marciano - Sienese-French forces defeated by a Florentine-Imperial army. The defeat leads to the end of Siena's independence from Florence. The Portuguese Jesuit Manoel de Nobrega founds São Paulo, the first European settlement in inland Brazil.

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