Sir Thomas Chaloner

Sir Thomas Chaloner, after Unknown artist, possibly 17th century, based on a work of 1559 - NPG 1274 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

  • Larger Image
  • Image zoom
  • Buy a print
  • Use this image
  • ShareShare this

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
Primary Collection
NPG 1274

Sitterback to top

Artistback to top

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.

Related worksback to top

  • NPG 2445: Sir Thomas Chaloner (source portrait)

Linked publicationsback to top

Events of 1559back to top

Current affairs

Queen 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 science

The Italian anatomist Matteo Realdo Colombo publishes De re anatomica (On Things Anatomical), in which he describes the pulmonary circulation of blood.

International

Mary 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.

Tell us more back to top

Can you tell us more about this portrait? Spotted an error, information that is missing (a sitter’s life dates, occupation or family relationships, or a date of portrait for example) or do you know anything that we don't know? If you have information to share please complete the form below.

If you require information from us, please use our Archive enquiry service. If you wish to license this image, please use our Rights and Images service.

Please note that we cannot provide valuations.

We digitise over 8,000 portraits a year and we cannot guarantee being able to digitise images that are not already scheduled.

What can you tell us?close

There are occasions when we are unsure of the identity of a sitter or artist, their life dates, occupation or have not recorded their family relationships. Sometimes we have not recorded the date of a portrait. Do you have specialist knowledge or a particular interest about any aspect of the portrait or sitter or artist that you can share with us? We would welcome any information that adds to and enhances our information and understanding about a particular portrait, sitter or artist.

Citationclose

How do you know this? Please could you let us know your source of information.

* Permission to publish (Privacy information)
Privacy Informationclose

The National Portrait Gallery will NOT use your information to contact you or store for any other purpose than to investigate or display your contribution. By ticking permission to publish you are indicating your agreement for your contribution to be shown on this collection item page. Please note your email address will not be displayed on the page nor will it be used for any marketing material or promotion of any kind.

Please ensure your comments are relevant and appropriate. Your contributions must be polite and with no intention of causing trouble. All contributions are moderated.

Your Emailclose

Contributions are moderated. We'll need your email address so that we can follow up on the information provided and contact you to let you know when your contribution has been published.