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Thomas Coventry, 1st Baron Coventry

33 of 3329 portraits matching these criteria:

- subject matching 'Jewellery - Crowns and tiaras'

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Thomas Coventry, 1st Baron Coventry

by Cornelius Johnson (Cornelius Janssen van Ceulen)
oil on canvas, 1639
49 7/8 in. x 39 1/2 in. (1268 mm x 1004 mm)
Purchased, 1970
Primary Collection
NPG 4815


This Italianate frame, carved with scrolls, v…

Sitterback to top

Artistback to top

This portraitback to top

Cornelius Johnson painted Coventry on at least five different occasions during the 1620s and 1630s. This portrait, in a fine contemporary frame, shows him with the bag of the Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, and the mace of the Speaker.

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 147
  • Simon, Jacob, The Art of the Picture Frame: Artists, Patrons and the Framing of Portraits in Britain, 1997 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 8 November 1996 - 9 February 1997), p. 48, 151 Read entry

    Carved and gilt oak, chamfered on the top rear edge, mason's mitre, the carved decoration raised above a sanded ground which is probably of later date, the rear of the frame built up with pine at the bottom and on both sides. 3 3⁄ 4 to 6 inches wide.

    This Italianate frame with its scrolls and volutes is an important survival from the 1630s, a decade when a wide range of fine frames began to be made in England to satisfy fashionable taste in court circles. The type is an anglicised version of the Sansovino frames popular in Venice. This portrait of the Lord Keeper, Lord Coventry, was sold at auction in 1970 with an identically framed portrait of his wife, also by Cornelius Johnson, now in Sheffield City Art Gallery. The frame type is found with a black background, perhaps originally white, on the set of early copies of the Raphael Cartoons at Knole and in variant form on another picture at Knole, the full-length of Mary Curzon, wife of the 4th Earl of Dorset. The type can also be seen framing a painting of Cain and Abel by Cantarini as depicted in David Teniers's painting at Petworth of the Archduke Leopold Wilhelm's collection at Brussels in 1651.

  • Waterhouse, Ellis Kirkham, The dictionary of 16th & 17th century British painters, 1988, p. 144

Events of 1639back to top

Current affairs

First Bishop's War. Conflict between Scotland and England over the king's intention to replace Scottish Presbyterianism with High Anglicanism is fiercely opposed by Scottish covenanters. Both sides assemble armies with Archibald Campbell, Marquess of Argyll emerging as leader of the covenanters. Only skirmishes occur, quickly leading to negotiations at Berwick.

Art and science

Archbishop Laud donates the Peterborough Chronicle, one of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, to the Bodleian Library.
Astronomer Jeremiah Horrocks having predicted the transit of Venus in November, observes and records it. Horrocks's draft treatise on the planet's transit, Venus in sole visa, is posthumously published by Johannes Hevelius in 1662.


Naval Battle of the Downs. Dutch Admiral Maarten Tromp, decisively defeats the Spanish, under Admiral Antonio de Oquendo. It is fought in the English Channel.
Francis Day, of the British East India Company, acquires land from King of Chandragiri, and founds Fort St. George, which would later become Madras (Chennai).

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