Sir Thomas More
Sir Thomas More
after Hans Holbein the Younger
oil on panel, early 17th century, based on a work of 1527
29 1/2 in. x 23 in. (749 mm x 584 mm)
Purchased with help from the Pilgrim Trust, Stanley Morison, Kenneth More and the Sir Thomas More Appeal Fund, 1964
Sitterback to top
- Sir Thomas More (1478-1535), Lord Chancellor, classical scholar, author of 'Utopia' and canonized 1935. Sitter associated with 54 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Hans Holbein the Younger (1497 or 1498-1543), Painter, printmaker and designer; son of Hans Holbein the Elder. Artist associated with 315 portraits, Sitter associated with 25 portraits.
This portraitback to top
This is a fine, highly accomplished version of a portrait by Holbein in the Frick Collection, New York. The materials and handling suggest this picture may have been painted in Italy or Austria in the early seventeenth century.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Bolland, Charlotte; Cooper, Tarnya, The Real Tudors: Kings and Queens Rediscovered, 2014 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 12th September 2014 to 1st March 2015), p. 39
- MacLeod, Catherine, Tudor and Jacobean Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery Collection at Montacute House, 1999, p. 10
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 440
- Strong, Roy, Tudor and Jacobean Portraits, 1969, p. 229
- Van der Stock, Jan, In search of Utopia : art and science in the era of Thomas More, 2016 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 20 Oct. 2016-17 Jan. 2017), p. 87
Subjects & Themesback to top
Events of 1527back to top
Current affairsKing Henry VIII tries to obtain the annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon and sends envoys to the Pope to seek his support.
An Anglo-French alliance is made between King Henry VIII and Francis I of France.
Art and scienceSir Thomas More, author of Utopia, is painted by the German artist Hans Holbein the Younger
InternationalRome sacked by imperial forces. Pope Clement VII is imprisoned and most of Italy falls under the control of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.
Florence becomes a republic after the Medici rulers, nephews of Pope Clement VII, are exiled.
See this portrait
On display at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas, USA
Recommended Exhibitions & displays
- 1517: Martin Luther and the English Reformation
Until 2 December
- WebQuest: Henry VIII - Man Versus Myth
- Tudor Miniatures
- Tints, texture and original intent, in four after-Holbein portraits
- Technique and effects of the after-Holbein copyists
- Holbein and his copyists
- The contexts for the production and demand for painted versions and copies in the sixteenth and early seventeenth century
- Director's Trail by Nicholas Cullinan
- International Conference: Portraiture and Biography
From 29 November, 00:00