caption

Unknown Artist, Sir John Townshend (c.1568–1603)

Photo courtesy of Tom St Aubyn (All rights reserved)

Details

Country House
Raynham Hall
Title(s)
Sir John Townshend (c.1568–1603)
Date
1590
Location
The Music Room
Medium and support
Oil on panel
Dimensions
Overall height: 57 cm, Overall width: 45 cm
Artist
Unknown Artist
Catalogue Number
RN28
Inscription
  • Inscribed top left: ‘ÆTATIS SUÆ. 21./Ao 1590’; top right: ‘MAS ALTO PENSAMIENTO/ QUE FORTVNA’

Description

It is difficult, but not impossible, to imagine this the same man, eight years younger, as depicted in the portrait of Sir John Townshend, RN15. This portrait, made in 1590, depicts a man in the twenty-first year of his life wearing a simple doublet and linen collar. Unusually, the top-right inscription is in Spanish, which is more or less unprecedented for British portraiture of this period and casts a little doubt on the identity of the sitter. An approximate translation would be ‘higher thoughts than fortune’.

by Edward Town

Bibliography

Prince Frederick Duleep Singh, Portraits in Norfolk Houses, ed. Rev. Edmund Farrer, vol. 2, Norwich : Jarrold and Sons, 1928, vol. 2, p. 233, no. 46 (‘MAN’)


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