Unknown woman, formerly known as Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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Unknown woman, formerly known as Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury

by Unknown artist
oil on panel, circa 1535
24 3/4 in. x 19 1/4 in. (629 mm x 489 mm)
Given by the Art Fund, 1931
Primary Collection
NPG 2607

Sitterback to top

Artistback to top

  • Unknown artist, Artist. Artist or producer associated with 6577 portraits.

This portraitback to top

The identity of the sitter in this portrait is not certain, but is traditionally thought to be Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury. The honeysuckle blossom has connotations of love and faithfulness, and the tiny barrel charm may be an allusion to the execution of her father George, Duke of Clarence, who was apparently drowned in a butt of malmsey wine (sweet wine imported from Greece).

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Piper, David, The English Face, 1992, p. 23
  • Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 689
  • Strong, Roy, Tudor and Jacobean Portraits, 1969, p. 272

Events of 1535back to top

Current affairs

The former Lord Chancellor Sir Thomas More is beheaded for High Treason after refusing to recognise King Henry VIII's religious supremacy.
The Bishop of Rochester John Fisher is executed on the same charge.

Art and science

The German artist Hans Holbein the Younger paints King Henry VIII.

International

The French navigator Jacques Cartier explores the sites that will become Quebec and Montreal. He names the territory Canada.
Lima in present day Peru is founded by the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro
The Holy Roman Emperor Charles V captures the city of Tunis in present-day Tunisia from the Ottoman admiral Khair ad-Din, called Barbarossa.

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