by Unknown artist
oil on panel, circa 1612
46 3/4 in. x 39 1/4 in. (1187 mm x 997 mm)
Sitterback to top
- Phineas Pett (1570-1647), Shipbuilder and first Master of the Shipwrights' Company. Sitter in 2 portraits.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Bolland, Charlotte, Tudor & Jacobean Portraits, 2018, p. 136 Read entry
Phineas Pett was a talented ship designer who came from a family of shipwrights; his father, Peter, Master Shipwright of Deptford, was granted a coat of arms in 1563. In 1604, Pett secured royal service after presenting Prince Henry with a small-scale ship, with a keel 28-feet long, which the boy named the Disdain. Three years later Pett presented Henry with a model of a more ambitious vessel, which pleased James I to such an extent that he ordered that it should be built at full scale. This painting commemorates the construction of the Prince Royal, which was the most powerful warship to have been built in England up until that point. The ship can be seen in the background, its stern decorated with the royal arms and the Prince of Wales's feathers and Prince Henry's HP monogram. Pett holds a pair of dividers to emphasise his role as the ship's designer; the text on the paper on the table is no longer legible but may be a letter or perhaps a plan for a ship. He wears an elaborate cap, an informal item of clothing that was worn indoors, which is richly embroidered with flowers and vines. The commissioning of this portrait, which bears an inscription giving the sitter's age as either '43' or in his forty-third year, likely related to Pett's appointment as the first Master of the Shipwright's Company in 1612, two years after the Prince Royal was launched.
- Cooper, Tarnya, Searching for Shakespeare, 2006 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 2 March - 29 May 2006), p. 50
- Cooper, Tarnya, Searching for Shakespeare (hardback), 2006 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 2 March - 29 May 2006), p. 50
- MacLeod, Catharine (preface, appreciation) Wilks, Timothy (introduction) Smuts, Malcolm (appreciation) MacGibbon, Rab (appendix), The Lost Prince: The Life and Death of Henry Stuart, 2012 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 18 October 2012 to 13 January 2013), p. 144
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 490
Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top
- The Lost Prince: The Life & Death of Henry Stuart (18 October 2012 - 13 January 2013)
Events of 1612back to top
Current affairsAged 18, Henry, Prince of Wales dies suddenly, probably from typhoid, sparking widespread mourning throughout the country, and abroad. James I's second son, Charles, becomes heir apparent.
Edward Wightman, a Baptist and alleged heretic, is the last person to be burnt at the stake in England.
Art and scienceThe literary world memorialises Henry, Prince of Wales after his death. Among those who lamented the loss of the popular prince were John Donne and Sir Walter Ralegh.
Thomas Shelton's English translation of the first half of Don Quixote is published, the first translation of the novel into any language.
InternationalThe betrothal of James I's daughter, Princess Elizabeth, to Frederick, elector palatine, strengthens the Protestant union made between England and German princes under Frederick, concluded earlier in the year.
East India Company claims victory against the Portuguese in the Battle of Swally off the coast of Suvali, India.
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