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Lord George Stuart, 9th Seigneur of Aubigny

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Lord George Stuart, 9th Seigneur of Aubigny

by Sir Anthony van Dyck
oil on canvas, circa 1638
86 in. x 52 1/2 in. (2184 mm x 1334 mm)
Purchased with help from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund, 1987
Primary Collection
NPG 5964

Sitterback to top

Artistback to top

  • Sir Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641), Painter. Artist associated with 1023 portraits, Sitter associated with 30 portraits.

This portraitback to top

Stuart's portrayal here suggests nothing of the political situation that was about to overwhelm him and his family. He is shown as a shepherd, standing in an Arcadian landscape. The Latin motto can be translated, 'Love is stronger than I am ', and probably refers to his secret marriage, against the wishes of her parents, to Lady Katherine Howard.

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Audio Guide
  • Smartify image discovery app
  • Catharine Macleod, Van Dyck : the last self-portrait, 2015, p. back cover
  • Cooper, John, A Guide to the National Portrait Gallery, 2009, p. 21 Read entry

    Lord George colluded with the artist to present himself as a lovelorn Arcadian shepherd.

  • Gibson, Robin, Treasures from the National Portrait Gallery, 1996, p. 41
  • Redford, Bruce, John Singer Sargent and the art of allusion, 2016, p. 125
  • Saumarez Smith, Charles, The National Portrait Gallery: An Illustrated Guide, 2000, p. 56
  • Saumarez Smith, Charles, The National Portrait Gallery, 1997, p. 56 Read entry

    The sitter was described by Lord Clarendon in his History of the Rebellion as 'a gentleman of great hopes, of a gentle and winning disposition, and of a very clear courage'. He was typical of the young men who flocked to the King's standard, but he was killed at the Battle of Edgehill in 1642, while leading a troop in the Prince of Wales' Regiment of Horse. His portrait is thought to have been painted by Van Dyck just before the Civil War and may date from 1638, when he secretly married Katherine, daughter of Theophilus Howard, 2nd Earl of Suffolk. It shows him in the guise of a shepherd, languid and rather effete, standing in a landscape with a rock inscribed ME FIRMIOR AMOR - 'Love is stronger than I am'.

  • Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 596

Events of 1638back to top

Current affairs

Amid turmoil in Scotland against Charles I's attempt to impose an episcopalian system of church government and Book of Common Prayer, theologian Alexander Henderson and politician Archibald Johnston of Wariston, defiantly draw up a new national covenant, whereby its signatories reaffirm their Presbyterian discipline.

Art and science

Political agitator, John Lilburne, is imprisoned for distributing unlicensed satirical pamphlets against episcopacy.
Luminalia by dramatist Sir William Davenant, is performed by Queen Henrietta Maria and her Ladies-in-Waiting. With designs by Inigo Jones, it was one of the last and most spectacular masques staged at the Stuart Court.


Lord High Chancellor Oxenstierna, head of the regency council ruling Sweden until the young Queen Kristina came of age, agrees the Treaty of Hamburg, renewing Sweden's alliance with France. Under its terms, in exchange for financial assistance from France, Sweden continued its military contribution in the Thirty years' War.

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