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William Warham

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William Warham

after Hans Holbein the Younger
oil on panel, early 17th century, based on a work of 1527
32 3/8 in. x 26 1/8 in. (822 mm x 663 mm)
Given by Harold Lee-Dillon, 17th Viscount Dillon, 1925
Primary Collection
NPG 2094

Sitterback to top

  • William Warham (1450?-1532), Archbishop of Canterbury. Sitter associated with 11 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 308 portraits, Sitter associated with 25 portraits.

This portraitback to top

The handling of the paint in this portrait and the overall appearance of the picture suggests that the artist was a talented early seventeenth-century copyist who has faithfully replicated the earlier composition of Hans Holbein the Younger. The level of detail suggests that the artist had access to both a pattern and the original painting when producing this work.

Related worksback to top

  • NPG D37496: William Warham (based on same portrait)
  • NPG D37497: William Warham (based on same portrait)
  • NPG D20487: William Warham (based on same portrait)
  • NPG D24267: William Warham (based on same portrait)

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 642
  • 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. 181 Read entry

    Ebonised and gilt pine, mitred and pinned, the cushion and the altered gilt sight edge beneath the glazing. 4 inches wide.

    This is one of two standard-pattern black-and-gold 'Tudor' frames the National Portrait Gallery used from the 1860s until the 1920s for almost all of its early portraits, with only the occasional variation in the mouldings. The simpler pattern has a flat frieze in place of this portrait's cushion and two gilt mouldings instead of three. Though the rather hard mouldings do not stand up to close scrutiny when compared to genuine sixteenth-century frames, these standard patterns have otherwise stood the test of time as can be seen from the number still in use. They were made by Henry Critchfield until his replacement as the Gallery's framemaker by Francis Draper in 1884.

    This frame was made for the portrait on acquisition in 1925 by Draper at a cost of £6.18s: 'Making 4" special pattern ebonized & gilt fillet top & ovolo door frame & black flat, door double gilt in matt & fitted up with brass thumb screws & velvet &c'. A 'door frame' of this sort allowed the panel to be removed from the front of the frame. Less than two years later in 1927 the frame was altered at a cost of £2.16s so that the picture could be glazed.

  • Strong, Roy, Tudor and Jacobean Portraits, 1969, p. 323

Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top

Events of 1527back to top

Current affairs

King 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 science

Sir Thomas More, author of Utopia, is painted by the German artist Hans Holbein the Younger


Rome 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.

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