Thomas Howard, 14th Earl of Arundel

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Thomas Howard, 14th Earl of Arundel

by Daniel Mytens
oil on canvas, circa 1618
81 1/2 in. x 50 in. (2070 mm x 1270 mm)
Accepted in lieu of tax by H.M. Government and allocated to the Gallery, 1980
Primary Collection
NPG 5292

On display at Arundel Castle, Arundel

Sitterback to top

Artistback to top

  • Daniel Mytens (circa 1590-1647), Portrait painter. Artist or producer associated with 50 portraits, Sitter in 5 portraits.

Related worksback to top

  • NPG 5293: Aletheia Talbot, Countess of Arundel (companion portrait)
  • NPG D11107: Thomas Howard, 14th Earl of Arundel (companion portrait)

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Bolland, Charlotte, Tudor & Jacobean Portraits, 2018, p. 88 Read entry

    Thomas Howard became the premier earl in England when he was restored to the earldoms of Arundel and Surrey by James I in 1604; both his father, Philip Howard, and his grandfather, Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk, had been attainted for treason. An art collector and patron, Arundel was the most influential connoisseur of his age and fostered the careers of numerous artists. In 1606 he married Aletheia Talbot, the granddaughter of Bess of Hardwick and one of the richest heiresses in England. They travelled extensively in Italy and were the first English patrons of the Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens. Arundel led the English Royalist campaign against Scotland in 1639 but withdrew to self-imposed exile on the Continent during the English civil wars. These paired portraits of husband and wife show them seated within an idealised version of the sculpture and painting galleries at Arundel House on the Strand overlooking the Thames. The compositions mark a new moment in the history of connoisseurship in Britain as their art collections were considered to contribute to their status. The countess is shown wearing a magnificent diamond 'IHS' brooch as a demonstration of her avowed Catholicism; unlike her husband she never became an Anglican. The Delft-born artist Daniel Mytens arrived in London in 1618, and these are his earliest-known full-length portraits. In 1624, he was granted an annual royal pension and on Charles I's accession was appointed one of the King's official 'picturedrawers of our Chamber in ordinarie' for life.

  • Edited by Lucy Peltz & Louise Stewart, Love Stories: Art, Passion & Tragedy, 2020, p. 113
  • Norfolk, Gwendolen Fitzalan-Howard, Duchess of, Arundel Castle, 1913, p. 10 (opposite)
  • Piper, David, The English Face, 1992, p. 72
  • Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 18

Placesback to top

Events of 1618back to top

Current affairs

Francis Bacon, Viscount St Alban, is appointed Lord High Chancellor. He would be impeached for bribery three years later ending his political career.
Lord High Treasurer Thomas Howard, Earl of Suffolk, and his wife, Katherine, are charged with embezzlement and found guilty the following year.

Art and science

Jurist, politician and scholar, John Selden, publishes his History of Tythes, in which he concedes the legal right of the Church of England to collect tithes, but denies divine authority.
The Royal College of Physicians compiles the London Pharmacopoeia, a standard list of medicines and their ingredients.


Sir Walter Ralegh's voyage to Guiana tragically fails. Unable to find treasure, his attack against the Spanish settlement San Thomé, during which his son Walter dies, dangerously jeopardises Anglo-Spanish relations. Ralegh returns home and is executed for treason.
Start of the Thirty Years War, precipitated by the Bohemian Revolt.

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