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Thomas Hobbes

1 of 21 portraits of Thomas Hobbes

Thomas Hobbes, by John Michael Wright, circa 1669-1670 -NPG 225 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Early Stuart Portraits Catalogue

Thomas Hobbes

by John Michael Wright
circa 1669-1670
26 in. x 21 1/2 in. (660 mm x 546 mm)
NPG 225

Inscriptionback to top

Inscribed verso on the original canvas: Jos. Michi. Writus Londinensis, Pictor Caroli 2 di Regis pinxit.

This portraitback to top

The best portrait of Hobbes (the Cooper miniature described below being incomplete), dated from the inscription on the Buccleuch portrait (see below); versions include:

Hertford College, Oxford; two versions, one a copy by Alex Austen 1891 ‘from picture by Michael Wright 1669’ (Mrs R. L. Poole, Catalogue of Portraits in the possession of the University, Colleges, City and County of Oxford, III, pp 271-2, nos.3 & 4)

Christie’s, 25 February 1916(147)

Formerly with the Duke of Buccleuch at Montagu House, inscribed verso: Thos Hobbs. Philosophus Malmesburiensis Anno Aetatis 81, J Michl Writus Londiniensis Pictor Carl: II Regis Pinxt. (Montagu House cat., 1898, no.135); sold Christie’s, 1 November 1946(165), bt. G. L. Keynes. A portrait in the collection of Lucius D. Battle, Williamsburg VA, 1958, was described as from the Duke of Buccleuch’s collection.

with C. C. Minchin, Reading, probably that sold Christie’s, 23 February 1962, lot 19

private collection 1979, inscribed: Thomas Berlerand Dec. 4th 1679 aged 91.

Hughenden Manor (Hughenden Manor, National Trust Guide, 1973, p.15, no.48 as ‘Wright’) and see NPG 106.

Referenceback to top

Collins Baker 1912
C. H. Collins Baker, Lely and the Stuart Portrait Painters, II, p 151 (as 1668).

Piper 1963
D. Piper, Catalogue of the Seventeenth Century Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery 1625-1714, 1963, p 166 (as 35¼ x 27¼, 89.5 x 69.2).

Conservationback to top

Relined; conserved 1969 and 1982 when the size was reduced (cf. NPG 106) following the removal of additions which had been made all round; some blanching and drying craquelure.

Provenanceback to top

Presented by Sir Walter Calverley Trevelyan 1866 (immediately after the 1866 exhibition).

Exhibitionsback to top

First Exibition of National Portraits, South Kensington, 1866, no.975, lent Trevelyan; Royalist Refugees, Rubenshuis, Antwerp, 2006, no.68.


This extended catalogue entry is by John Ingamells, one of a limited number of entries drafted in 2010 for the incomplete catalogue, Early Stuart Portraits 1625-1685, and is as written then. For the most up-to-date details on individual Collection works, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text.

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