Sir Henry Gage
Sir Henry Gage
oil on canvas, 1640s
50 1/4 in. x 39 in. (1276 mm x 991 mm)
Transferred from Tate Gallery, 1957
Sitterback to top
- Sir Henry Gage (1597-1645), Soldier, royalist and Governor of Oxford. Sitter in 2 portraits.
This portraitback to top
Of Catholic family and a Royalist, Gage was educated and lived on the Continent before entering the Spanish service, in which he served mainly in the Netherlands where he raised and commanded a regiment of his own. He used his influence to prevent supplies reaching Parliamentary forces from Holland, and in 1644 returned to England to offer his services to Charles I. A valuable addition to the Royalist side, he was knighted and made Governor of Oxford. This portrait of him is thought to have been painted by a Netherlandish artist. The view of the Italianate, classicizing landscape may be a reference to his time on the continent prior to military service. Intriguingly, it is lit the reverse way from the figure, suggesting perhaps a lapse of concentration on behalf of the artist who is likely to have copied the background from another source.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Piper, David, Catalogue of Seventeenth Century Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery, 1625-1714, 1963, p. 132
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 235
Subjects & Themesback to top
Events of 1640back to top
Current affairsSecond Bishops' War. James Graham, Marquess of Montrose, leading the Scottish armies, occupies northeast of England. Defeat at the Battle of Newburn forces impoverished Charles to sign Treaty of Ripon.
Long Parliament. Habeas Corpus Act is passed, abolishing the Star Chamber. Impeachment of Royalists, Earl of Strafford and Archbishop Laud.
Art and scienceAuthor, James Howell, writes Dodona's Grove, a historical allegory of events since 1603. A renowned royalist, Howell's anti-parliamentary remarks in the book would later attract accusations from parliamentarians.
The last Caroline masque before the outbreak of civil war, Salmacida Spolia by Sir William Davenant, is performed at Whitehall Palace.
InternationalFrederick William becomes Elector of Brandenburg and Duke of Prussia. The Elector's policy of religious tolerance benefited his state during the religious struggles dominating the Thirty Years' War.
The Bay Psalm Book is published, the first book to be printed in British North America.