Sir Thomas Chaloner
Sir Thomas Chaloner
after Unknown artist
oil on canvas, possibly 17th century, based on a work of 1559
29 3/4 in. x 22 in. (756 mm x 559 mm)
Given by E.A. Maund, 1900
This portraitback to top
Chaloner, the son of a London mercer and a diplomat, lived during the reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I. This striking portrait, the original of which is thought to have been painted in the Low Countries, is distinctly emblematic. The Latin verses would appear to be Chaloner's own and describe the realisation by the Assyrian king Sardanapulus of the transitory nature of earthly treasures: 'they fade black and begrimed with soot as though gold were nothing else but smoke...'. The emblem of the book outweighing the world and its riches is complimentary; Chaloner, the portrait tells us, values the spiritual and the intellectual rather than the worldly.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 112
- Strong, Roy, Tudor and Jacobean Portraits, 1969, p. 45
Events of 1559back to top
Current affairsQueen 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 scienceThe Italian anatomist Matteo Realdo Colombo publishes De re anatomica (On Things Anatomical), in which he describes the pulmonary circulation of blood.
InternationalMary 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.
Recommended Exhibitions & displays
- 'This sceptred isle': Shakespeare and the Plantagenets
Until 1 December
- Silhouettes display, 2004-05
- Return to Life: A New Look at the Portrait Bust
- 2019 Anniversaries
- William Hazlitt's Spirit of the Age
- Making History: Printed Portraiture in Tudor and Stuart Britain
- Mary, Queen of Scots: Fact and Fiction
- Restoration Lives: Samuel Pepys and His Circle
- Brilliant Women
- Chartist Portraits
- Mary, Queen of Scots
- Nelson: before and after Trafalgar
- Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Art Conservation Project
- Rebel women
- Theodore de Mayerne
- Popular Prints of Victoria and Albert
- Gunpowder, Treason and Plot
- Searching for Shakespeare
- Duplicate of Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Art Conservation Project