Thomas Howard, 14th Earl of Arundel
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
Sitterback to top
- Thomas Howard, 14th Earl of Arundel, 4th Earl of Surrey and 1st Earl of Norfolk (1585-1646), Patron of art and collector. Sitter associated with 68 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Daniel Mytens (circa 1590-1647), Portrait painter. Artist associated with 50 portraits, Sitter in 5 portraits.
This portraitback to top
An art collector and patron, Arundel was the most influential connoisseur of his age. He is described as 'one that loved and favoured all arts and artists in great measure and was the bringer of them in to England'. He fostered the careers of Inigo Jones, Daniel Mytens, Wenceslaus Hollar, Van Dyck, and Rubens, who called him 'one of the evangelists of art'. Arundel assembled the first major collection of classical antiquities in London and this portrait shows him gesturing with his baton towards the sculpture gallery at Arundel House on the Strand, which overlooked the Thames. His activities as a patron were heavily dependent on the wealth of his wife, Alathea Talbot, who appears in a companion portrait seated before a portrait gallery.
Related worksback to top
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.
- 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
- Place portrayed: United Kingdom: England, London (sculpture gallery, Arundel House, Westminster, London)
Subjects & Themesback to top
Events of 1618back to top
Current affairsFrancis 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 scienceJurist, 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.
InternationalSir 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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